So I finally (finally finally) have some time to myself to read again.
(cue deep sigh of relief, please!)
The last weeks of November/beginning of December are always super crazy for musicians. You want someone to play carols at parties. Provide mood music for craft fairs. Year-end concerts. The like. And if you’re in university, gear up, buckle down, and do whatever other preparation you can for finals.
It can be fun. But now I get reading time again.
So, naturally, I had to wonder what to read.
Should I start break with Tehanu and continue the delectable Earthsea series? I’ve been neglecting Tolkien’s Kullervo. Should I continue giving The Wise Man’s Fear a dark glare and cold shoulder (yes, actually, I should)?
In the end, I decided to pick up where I’d left off at the end of summer, with Jennifer A. Nielsen’s The Runaway King. I was ecstatic to find this one at the Epic Library Sale and have been eagerly anticipating the rest of the adventure since.
Prime example of the book via the opening line:
I had arrived early for my own assassination.
Nielsen, Jennifer A. The Runaway King. Scholastic Press
Seriously. There are reasons I adore this series.
Writing Status: iffy.
Haven’t written much of anything since NaNoWriMo finished…but I’ve been thinking about it. A few paragraphs here and there, notes scribbled in places where they are certain to disappear about a yellow cat and the sound glass makes when you break it. Probably my next project will be for the Writers of the Future contest…if I can find something to spark me into inspiration. Last time a real-life cryptid museum fell (plunk!) straight into my lap and the story wrote itself from there.
So in other words…if you have any strange fantastic ideas you want to send me, from real life or imagination, I will happily provide my favorites with ink and dragons necessary to bring them to life.
So as an apology for not blogging as often lately, and for the absentee blogger I am almost certainly going to become during NaNoWriMo, I am going to bend one of my rules and blog about my life instead of books or things that didn’t happen or someone else’s stories. That way you can understand a few things that have been keeping me away from the keyboard.
Don’t get too comfortable with the idea; I enjoy my privacy as much as a curmudgeonly old cat lady and this is probably not going to be a regular thing.
After starting this post, I realized it was very long…so after a week’s delay, rather than have one gigantic story that will be too long for me to edit or anyone else to read…I give you three.
Starting (in chronological order of my Grand Bookish Adventures) with the
Feel free to use your imagination about what they’re like. And share the whimsical stories with me. I will gleefully fabricate more fantastical details for you. With dragons, of course.
In truth though, the biannual library sales are two of my favorite weeks of the year. The books are inexpensive to the point of making those of us buying them seem like sneak-thieves and robbers. There is almost always something for everyone, and if you walk out with only one book, you are stared at with a mixture of revulsion and disbelief (To my memory, I have never done this). Sales typically run from Wednesday through Sunday, fall and spring (you’ll see why this detail is important shortly).
This year I bought…way more books than I should have. Most are sitting in a tidily stacked little tower, patiently waiting to be shelved. My first recent adventure went something like this:
Went to sale on Day 1
(because, seriously. There are lots of other good book hunters out there. I don’t want someone to snatch my favorites before I get there. Also why I haven’t mentioned where the sales are held. I will share books with friends…but only very, very close friends)
Bought Nielsen’s Runaway King and anything else of hers I found.
C.S. Lewis’s battered Space Trilogy (but it’s complete, and in condition I won’t mind loaning out to other readers, especially those with questionable book-eating habits)
The Wise Man’s Fear–identical edition to the one I’d borrowed from the library.
What! you say. Why would she buy that book? Doesn’t she hate it? Wait…does this mean she loves it now? Why did she buy it?
…Because I need it. You’ll get a full explanation after NaNo is over and I have time to write the Rothfuss reviews. Now stop questioning my character inconsistencies. It was there, I wanted it, I bought it. Mine. The end.
The one-volume His Dark Materials…a friend recommended them, and I bought a battered The Golden Compass last sale…so now I have a duplicate…but it saves tracking down the others if I find out I like them.
Tehanu!!! Finally I have my hands on you and can keep reading Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea cycle. Also the sole LeGuin find for the duration of the sale.
Several Anne McCaffrey Dragonriders of Pern books. Including the first one so I can finally start reading the series.
Adam of the Road. Again, how have I never read this?
Several other Unknown Authors, Collection of Fairytales, and anthologies that made their way into my hands between Sale Days 1-2 (no, I didn’t camp out there, searching the stacks…that actually sounds like fun though…)
Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone. I’ve actually never heard of this author. Which is somewhat irksome and gloriously exciting at the same time. Usually I’m hesitant to buy an unknown book…but it was Ace Fantasy…and it looked good. Like Ursula LeGuin high-epic fantasy good. The covers were gorgeous, the volumes were slim, back-cover blurbs intriguing and condition practically brand new. They had vol. 1-4, 7, and the “newest,” The Revenge of the Rose, but I only picked up one, hesitant of an unknown author…which leads us to…
Day 2. Went back to the sale for the rest of the Moorcock series.
Yeah, I know. But if they were good, I’d be kicking myself for years for not getting the rest. And if I hate them…well, that’s nothing that hasn’t happened before. (Actually, if anyone knows anything about/totally loves this author, please fill me in! I love hearing what other people think of books. Just no spoilers, please!).
I was also browsing books for someone else who couldn’t be at the sale that day…so don’t judge me too harshly for going back just for Elric.
The Crown of the Collection:
Backtracking a little–Day 1 I made the mistake of going to the old/fine books section. Never do this if you aren’t willing to meet a book you can’t part with.
I found a limited edition Anne McCaffrey, Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern.
I gaped. Unfortunately, it was buy that book (because word of the wise Book Hunters, don’t bring your checkbook to the sale. Only cash. You will most assuredly overspend) or take home the towering stack of bargain books I’d already collected.
I went with the pile of books. Gave the limited edition a loving look and promised to be back on half price day. If it would wait for me.
Day 3 I refused to go to the sale again; I had too much work-stuff going on.
But if my loved ones trouping out the door on their merry way wanted to peek in on the McCaffrey, just to see how it was doing…
To Skip to the End…
Apparently there’s a rule I wasn’t aware of that better books are culled before half price and bag day.
…and I wasn’t there…
The Merry Troupe of Day 3 brought the book back for me.
They are awesome in every sense of the word. (initiate BookmarkedOne low, graceful bow of undying gratitude).
Here’s a grainy picture of the glorious crown to this year’s collection:
Did I mention the blue is fuzzy? Anybody else ever had a felted book cover?
Needless to day, I did not go back to the sale again this fall.
(Is that needless? Or would you keep wondering?)
Anyway. That really was the end of my visit to the fall book sale. If any of the titles struck your fancy and you’d like to see them reviewed first, let me know! I’d love to hear what your favorites are or what books you were curious about reading yourself.
And NaNo starts at midnight tonight so…for those of you who aren’t writing 50,000 words this month, happy reading and relaxing. And those who are…
Call your dragons and brew your coffee! Swallow your fears and stir your ink! Our day has come!