Book Beginnings and Friday 56: Uncle Silas

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted anything… So without further adieu…

Uncle Silas  by Sheridan le Fanu (a book I picked up at random from the library).

For Book Beginnings by Rose City Reader

It was winter–that is, about the second week in November–and great gusts were rattling at the windows, and wailing and thundering among our tall trees and ivied chimneys–a very dark night, and a very cheerful fire blazing, a pleasant mixture of good round coal and spluttering dry wood, in a genuine old fireplace, in a sombre old room.

For The Friday 56 by Freda’s Voice

I’m cheating a little with this one and including several lines, since they’re more interesting together.

At that moment the door of my father’s study opened, and Mrs. Rusk, with her dark energetic face very much flushed, stepped out in high excitement.

“The Master says you may have the brandy-bottle, Madame, and I’m glad to be rid of it–I am.”

Madame curtsied with a great smirk, that was full of tangible hate and insult.


Book Beginnings and Friday 56: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

This Friday’s book is The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.

For Book Beginnings by Rose City Reader

I wore a black suit and a white shirt, a black tie and black shoes, all polished and shiny: clothes that normally would make me feel uncomfortable, as if I were in a stolen uniform, or pretending to be an adult.

For The Friday 56 by Freda’s Voice

Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56: The Eyre Affair

This Friday’s book is The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.


For Book Beginnings by Rose City Reader

My father had a face that could stop a clock. I don’t mean that he was ugly or anything; it was a phrase the ChronoGuard used to describe someone who had the power to reduce time to an ultraslow trickle.

For The Friday 56 by Freda’s Voice

Revenge had been a prime emotion keeping me together over the past two weeks. Without a burning desire to see Hades punished, I might not even have made it at all.

Wishlist Wednesday: The Paper Magician

Today I’ll be participating in Wishlist Wednesday from Pen to Paper. So what do I want to read:

The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg

At the start of December, I stumbled on The Paper Magician on someone elses blog (sadly, I can’t remember whose it was…). The idea behind the story is that magicians are trained to only work in one element, and Ceony Twill would love to work in metal. Sadly, she’s been assigned to work in paper and is sent to learn from a paper magician (perhaps THE paper magician?). At some point, I heard it compared to The Night Circus.

Now, I could probably dowithout the romance that apparently blossoms between Ceony and her teacher (I’m very picky when it comes to romance in books and often times what’s written doesn’t so much capture my imagination as it does make my eyes roll). But I was very interested in this idea about restricting magic to only one medium, and I’m curious of what paper magic will involve.

I requested the book and its sequel, The Glass Magician, from my local library. They were already ordering the books and a few days later I noticed the hold status changed from”on order” to “pending”, And I thought ‘Oh great! They must’ve received the books and now just have to process them.” Unfortunately, the processing (or whatever they’re doing) is taking FOREVER.

So everyday I check back in to see if it’s ready for pick up. I can only hope that day will come soon.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56: Sourcery

I picked up two other books (House of Leaves, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell), hoping their page 56 would have something very quote-able… They did not. So I turned to Terry Pratchett, who writes something quote-able on almost every page.

For Book Beginnings by Rose City Reader

There was a man and he had eight sons. Apart from that, he was a nothing more than a comma on the page of History. It’s sad, but that’s all you can say about some people.

For The Friday 56 by Freda’s Voice

“I’ve just killed a wooden box,” she said.

Rincewind looked around the corner.

The Luggage stood in the dripping street, the knife still quivering in its lid, and stared at her.

Bout of Book 2015, Pt. 2

At the end of last year, I was super looking forward to 2015 Bout of Books. I’m on Winter Break so in theory I should have plenty of time in January to read. Then life happened and my beautiful plans to read from sun-up to sun-down fell apart.

Bout of Books took place from January 5th to January 11th. Unfortunatley, during that week, I had to read about a business trip and several screaming and sick toddlers my roommate was unexpectedly babysitting. I did not get much read. I decided to spend last week as a sort of 2nd chances Bout of Books to see if I could read anymore without distractions… unfortunately, that’s when I got hit with that stomach bug from those screaming toddlers….

During week one, I read a book. During 2nd chance week two, I read a whopping… book and a half! One half more book! Of course that book is only about 100 pages… but still it’s half read!

The book I read for actually Bout of Book had been recommended to me: Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne. If you’ve ever wondered if evolution is a true fact, or if you’ve ever  said to yourself (like I did), “Hey, I know evolution happened/is happening, but I’m not sure how I know that” then this is a good book to start your educational journey. It is a tough read in some places, though, and I definitely benefited from having a science (if not evolutionary science) background. The half book I read this past week is called The Big Questions: Evolution, and is part of a series of question and answer-style books on science.

The full book I read this week was a surprising gem: Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz. I had to make several trips to the children’s library last year for research into children’s books for my work, and I kept seeing this book on the shelf. It looked like the kind of story that I’d have loved as a kid, so I decided what the heck, I’m not to old to read a children’s book and I checked it out.

Splendors and Glooms is a gothic thriller for children, that concerns the kidnapping of a lonely rich girl and plight of two orphans apprenticed and abused by a puppet master who is at war with a dying witch. To me, this book came off as a more Dickensian The Night Circus. I also kept getting hints of From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (another children’s book that I read when I was outside of the prescribed reading age because my younger sister refused to read it herself).

While reading, there were times when I forgot it was written for children. Part of that is because it was very well written and had some impressive language (It is a Newbery Medal winner.). It was much more richly detailed, especially in terms of smells, than a lot of fiction that I’ve read recently (which maybe says more about the quality of the books I’m reading… hmmm…). There are also several scenes where I was a like, ‘Well that would have progressed/ended a lot differently if this were geared for an older audience.’ One scene that stands out is when a man who’s been sexually harassing one of the orphans finally makes a move on her. An uncomfortable scene, but nicely handled.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Splendors and Glooms. It was a fine book to end my 2nd chance Bout of Books, and it’s one that I’d recommend to anyone who has kids or doesn’t mind reading a children’s book.

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56: Mort

For today’s Book Beginnings and Friday 56, I thought I’d pull from Mort, my favorite Terry Pratchett novel (so far). I wanted to do a Terry Pratchett book since I noticed during a trip to Barnes & Noble that Good Omens (written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman) was organized under ‘G’ rather than ‘P’. Tsch.

For Book Beginnings

This is the bright candlelit room where the life-timers are stored – shelf upon shelf of them, squat hourglasses, one for every living person, pouring their fine sand from the future into the past.

For The Friday 56

(I’m cheating on this a little, choosing several lines from across page 56, to better show case Pratchett’s humor and wit).

The woman said: “Why does the demon show his teeth, husband of my life?”

“I’m no demon! I’m a human!”

“You’re a thief?” said the father. “A murderer? To creep in thus, are you a tax-gatherer?” His hand slipped under the table and came up holding a meat cleaver honed to paper thinness. His wife screamed and dropped the plate and clutched the youngest children to her.