#bookaday – Day 12: I pretend to have read it

Ouch. Really? You’re asking me to divulge this one? Well, about four months ago I would have said Pride and Prejudice, but I have since read it for college and enjoy the heck out of it. So I can officially check that one off.

I also can’t say Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov because I’m blunt about that one. I’ve TRIED to read it, but it squicks me out too much and I’m honest about it. No shame in that one.

So I guess maybe…

HUH. I honestly don’t know! I’m scanning my shelves and racking my brain for this one, and I’m not sure! I don’t lie about any of the books I own, and all the ones I read in school or were supposed to have read in school I don’t lie about. I’ve attempted but never finished Sybil by Benjamin Disraeli, and I was honest about that one because it’s the most boring book in the history of books.

I guess maybe I haven’t said I’ve read this one so much as lied about it by omission? People have asked me if I’ve read The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, and while I don’t exactly say I have or haven’t, my usual answer is “I own it.” Does that count as pretending to have read it? I swear it’s on my list. Maybe I’ll get to it this summer… but I really do own it! I bought it at Borders before I worked there. That’s how long ago I got it… and how long it’s been sitting on my shelf.

So yeah. The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu. If you ask me if I’ve read it, I’ll likely answer “I own it.” But no, I haven’t read it.


#bookaday – Day 9: Film or TV tie-in

Not quite sure how to answer this one. Do I own them? Yes. Are they talking about books that came before movies, movies that came before books and have products based on them, or books that came before movies that I then bought the movie cover versions for?

Maybe I’ll just answer all those questions to cover my bases…

Book with a movie cover that I bought: Maurice by E.M. Forster. I love the book and wanted my own copy, and it was the only one I found – ever – at the Book Barn, so I bought it. Now of course there is another cover for the book that’s snazzy, but I like my cover just fine.

Movie with book tie-ins: Transformers. I bought all the books for the movies as they came out: the prequel to the film and the novel version of the film. Why? Bumblebee, duh.

Book that became a movie that I own the original cover of the book for and not the movie tie-in cover: Cloud Atlas. The book and the movie are SO DIFFERENT in how they’re told. Bawled my eyes out through the film.

Also Warm Bodies. The movie is okay but the book is SO, SO FAR SUPERIOR. It’s so different, too. Very different endings and the book is NOT meant for teens like the movie sort of is. I wish the film had followed the book more closely. It’s hysterically amazing with such a great ending. And the father really gets what’s coming to him in the book…

#bookaday: Day 8 – Have more than one copy

I first encountered Aristoi by Walter Jon Williams in Ocean State Job Lot many years ago while camping with my family. I wanted something to read, and I browsed the cheap paperback books. I found this book, and since it was Scifi, I figured I’d give it a try.

It took me a while to get started since I was also “writing.” It was a rainy day at the campground, I remember, and we had a pop up camper. I settled into my bunk, and got started.

And have never looked back.

Aristoi was the first book I ever read with a gay relationship. It was completely revolutionary to me, especially since it had not only a gay relationship, but a bisexual main character, and even male pregnancy. I found it utterly fascinating. I was intrigued. And hooked.

The elite characters of the book have multiple personalities known as daimons that, within the book, have side conversations while the action of the book goes on around them. I loved that.

I now own three copies of the book: my original paperback, and two hardcover books. One a first edition, the other a scifi bookclub book. All three are on my shelf right now in the apartment. And every time I go to the Book Barn and find a used copy, I buy it. Because hey. You never know when you might need another!

It’s also now available on the Kindle, and you can purchase the book here. 

#bookaday – Day 7: Forgot I owned it

This happens a lot. There is no one book that I “forgot I owned.” I go to bookstores to pick something up and then get home to find out I have it already.

And since I have over 500 manga in my collection, I had to create a list on my phone to keep from buying duplicates. But if I forget to update the list, then… well, I’ve bought duplicates before.

What about you?

Short entry today, sorry! Brace on my right arm for carpal tunnel. 🙁 tough to type.

#bookaday – Day 6: The one I always give as a gift

Another difficult one. I always give books as gifts, and I try to tailor it to that person. If they’re a big reader, it’s to what they either haven’t read, or what they should read. If they’re not a big reader, I try to find something engaging for them that fits their interests. And again, it also depends on their age.

I wish this one said “The one I always recommend,” because there are definite titles for that one!

I guess for this, the book that I’ve given most recently as a gift – and a few times – would have to be The Culling by Steven dos Santos. I loved the book so much I pretty much demand everyone read it. Conversations from my side are pretty much like this:

Did you read The Hunger Games? Yes? Read this. It’s better.

Did you read The Hunger Games? No? Good. Read this. It’s better.

Do you like dystopian literature? Yes? Good. Read this. It’s perfect.

Do you like dystopian literature? No? Read this. You will now.

Do you want a book with an LGBT main character? Yes? Perfect, you’ll love Lucky. Read this.

Do you want a book with an LGBT main character? No? Well you should, so read this. You’ll love Lucky.

Do you like books that make you sob your face off? Yes? For the love of God, read this. Students have cried in my class reading it.

Do you like books that make you sob your face off? No? Well, read this. You’ll change your mind.

#bookaday – Day 5: Doesn’t belong to me

A book that doesn’t belong to me? For a moment I thought I didn’t have one, but I do! My coworker just let me borrow a book that looks like it’ll be interesting. She’s a Social Studies teacher and she teaches a Holocaust based class for the eighth graders. I teach a literature circle unit on Holocaust themed books, and I expressed interest in quite a few. She loaned me this one and said it was intense but good. It’s on my shelf right now to read this summer, actually.

It’s not really a true story, but it seems fascinating. Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

In the last months of the Nazi occupation of Poland, two children are left by their father and stepmother to find safety in a dense forest. Because their real names will reveal their Jewishness, they are renamed “Hansel” and “Gretel.” They wander in the woods until they are taken in by Magda, an eccentric and stubborn old woman called “witch” by the nearby villagers. Magda is determined to save them, even as a German officer arrives in the village with his own plans for the children.

Combining classic themes of fairy tales and war literature, Louise Murphy’s haunting novel of journey and survival, of redemption and memory, powerfully depicts how war is experienced by families and especially by children. The True Story of Hansel and Gretal tells a resonant, riveting story.
I love retellings of fairy tales and myths, so this is intriguing. The idea that the “witch” isn’t evil like she always is in the tales paints a different picture.

#bookaday – Day 4: Least favorite book by favorite author

This is a hard one. I have books I don’t like, but when I like an author, I tend to like ALL of the things they write. It’s hard to say which one is the “least favorite,” especially if it’s a series, because that just seems…strange. So I’m sitting here trying to write this post, staring at my bookshelves and trying to ponder the answer to this one. And it’s hard.

I think I got it now. There was a romance series of eight books I read many years ago. The series deals with eight brothers, four sets of twins, and a prophecy surrounding them. I liked how each of the brothers was different and had different powers. I thought the women, for the most part, were really great for the men. I do remember being disappointed with the fourth book, The Song, by Jean Johnson. I just didn’t think the woman paired with that brother was right. I don’t know why. I didn’t care for her too much, though she was nice enough. I also was upset with what happened to him in regards to his voice, and I wasn’t satisfied with the resolution at all.

Maybe I should reread the series, though. It’s been awhile and I did truly enjoy the world building.

Plus it was the first ever romance book I read cover to cover without putting down. And the first romance series I actually finished. I ended up collecting all of the books as trade paperbacks because I liked them so much. And if that doesn’t say something, well…

#bookaday – Day 2: Best bargain

I love bargain hunting. Especially when it comes to books. The Book Barn in Niantic, Connecticut is THE place to go for used books. Many of them are gently used, some not even read at all. Paperbacks are a dollar, hardcovers range from four dollars to a little more, depending on the subject and what not.

So one day I went down to the stores to browse (yes, stores, they have four locations within a mile of each other, that’s how big they’ve gotten), and I was looking for any first edition Anne Rice books I didn’t have.

Lucky for me, they had a copy of The Witching Hour in hardcover. It was a first edition, second printing. I thought I had a good copy, paid my four dollars for it, and after other browsing at the other locations, went home.

It ended up in storage for awhile, but I finally found it again and was excited. As I looking through the book I realized I had never really done much other than look at the copyright page.

So imagine my surprise when I realized the title page was signed. SIGNED AND DATED by Anne Rice.

I paid four dollars for it.

They usually put signed copies in the main store, usually behind glass, and they jack up the price. But… apparently they missed this one! So, BEST BARGAIN EVER for me!

#bookaday – Day 1: Favorite book from childhood

So fellow BSB author ‘Nathan Burgoine shared this fun picture on Facebook, and I decided to try it out. The goal for me is to update my blog once a day for the next month, and use these prompts to help me. And since it’s books, it shouldn’t be TOO hard, right? So, today I start with day one, since it’s June 1st.


Favorite book from childhood: The Baby Unicorn by Jean and Claudio Marzollo

The synopsis: Star, a baby unicorn and one of the last eight unicorns on earth, must find a way to help save her friends from the evil dragons.

I loved this book so much I constantly borrowed it from the library at St. Matthew’s School when I went there. Like, ALL the time. In fact, it rarely lasted back in the library for more than a few hours before I took it home again. And reread it. I loved the story of Star becoming this brave unicorn and how she saves her family and friends from the dragons and turns them around, too!

The illustrations are gorgeous, too. For a children’s book, they’re incredibly detailed. I loved to stare at the art and imagine I was in Star’s world.

The librarian noticed how much I took the book out over a several year span. In fact, the entire checkout card(s) was filled with dates from my borrowing the book. So, she did the only thing she could do. She gave me the book.

I still have this copy of the book. Even after moving out of my parents house and getting an apartment, I took the book with me. It’s on the white bookshelf in the living room. I’ll never get rid of that book.

So tell me, what’s your favorite book from childhood?