Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that were hard for me to read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic that the participants come up with a top ten list for.

This week's topic is about books that were hard to read, be it because of the subject matter, complexity, bad writing, or whatever.

Daniel Defoe - Robinson Crusoe
I once tried to read it in German when I was nine. I thought it would be really interesting and all about surviving on that island, but it was really slow and simply too difficult for me at that time. Then I tried again in my third semester at Uni but never finished it. It was so boring. I'm not sure I even made it to the point where Friday shows up. I couldn't bear to read another catalogue of things he owns or is doing or remembering or thinking about God.

Stephen King - Dreamcatcher
This was my first Stephen King book and I read it when I was fifteen. It was a bit of a rebellious act because my mother (who doesn't like anything horror) always talked about him as that author who writes these gross, bloody horror books (never mind that she'd never read one). But I always felt drawn to King. The first 200 pages weren't so bad, but then the grossness started... for another 200 pages or so. I felt a bit nauseated at times. But then I read The Gunslinger next and was hooked on King for life.

Becca Fitzpatrick - Crescendo
I really liked Hush Hush when I first read it (don't know if I'd still feel the same way now) and was really disappointed by Crescendo. Nora was being so stupid and jealous and doing one brainless thing after the other. I don't even know how many times I rolled my eyes. Silence was a little better, but it's been two years and I still haven't bought that final book.

Laurie Halse Anderson - Wintergirls
Not a bad book at all, just to be clear. But for personal reasons it was very difficult for me to read.

Sarah J. Maas - Crown of Midnight
Why, you may wonder? Because it was so good but I knew it couldn't last. At a certain point in the story things started to pile up and I knew it would all come crashing down and go horribly wrong and characters I cared about would be hurt or killed. Makes it difficult for me to read on because all I can do is watch.

Courtney Summers - Some Girls Are
Heavy subject matter combined with excellent writing made for a harrowing read. I'm glad I read it though. It's important that these things are written and talked about.

Deborah Meyler - The Bookstore
It was unrealistic and pretentious. It wasn't all bad but I wished I could have knocked some sense into our dear protagonist.

Amy Butler Greenfield - Chantress
I'd been looking forward to this one so much and it started out promising, but then the pacing slowed, it was all talking and no experiencing/showing, it was stifling because the heroine was inside all the time, and I wasn't feeling the magic. The last 20 or so percent were great again, but man did that middle drag.

Cassandra Clare - Clockwork Prince
All. The. Feels. Being scared to read on because things will go horribly wrong, yet unable to resist reading. My heart was being stabbed. Cassie Clare made me cry on Christmas at two in the morning.

John Dos Passos - Manhattan Transfer
This book starts in the 1890s or so and spans all the way to the 1920s. There are at least 50 characters, some of whom reappear and some not. The narrative is very complex and not necessarily coherent but once I got into it, I found it irresistible and ended up really loving it. Just the way Dos Passos really gets into the characters' hearts and minds and describes the everyday gains and losses of their lives. The sadness and the hopes. I need to re-read it.

I think if I set my mind to it I could come up with many more. James Joyce's Ulysses was definitely hard to read, so was Bleak House by Charles Dickens (very bleak indeed, and like 1000 pages). And I could have listed a lot of books under 'annoying' but I think that adjective is not very precise or useful when it comes to describing a book or protagonist.
Were any of my picks hard for you to read as well? And what books did you settle on?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: a mess of freaks, ringmasters, and faerie kings

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to showcase all the books we got in the past week. Those can be bought, won, gifted, for review, borrowed, print or ebooks... no matter, just share what you got :)

I was pretty good this week. I ordered a few books but they haven't arrived yet (so they don't count), and other than that all I got were ebooks. And they were all either cheap or free. So I haven't abused my bank account or my limited apartment book space.

Found, by Brenda Lee Harper
Ringmaster, by Judi Jaye
Third Daughter, by Susan Kaye Quinn
A Perfect Mess, by Zoe Dawson
The Seven Year King, by Kiki Hamilton
Freaks of Greenfield High, by Maree Anderson

All of these were spontaneous buys, the only one I'd heard of was The Seven Year King because I've read the previous two books in this faerie series. Found attracted me because it mentions gargoyles, Ringmaster because of the circus/carnival theme, Third Daughter because it's described as Steampunk-goes-Bollywood, and how often do you see Steampunk set in India? Freaks of Greenfield High is a bout a cyborg girl and A Perfect Mess was bought in a bad boy mood.

Have you heard of or read any of these? And what's new on your shelves this week?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Mime Order, by Samantha Shannon

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine to spotlight upcoming book releases that we're excited about.

This week's pick

Release date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages

Goodreads description
Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London.

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.

Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.

I finally read The Bone Season about a week or so ago and it was soooo incredibly fantastic! I'm so glad the next book is out soon-ish :) I can't wait to see Paige and Warden's story continue, but I'm also a bit scared because I know that things won't be peachy for them.
Have you read The Bone Season? What are your thoughts on this sequel? And what book are you impatient for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: top books on my Fall TBR list

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic that the participants come up with a top ten list for.

This week's topic is about the top ten books on our Fall to-be-read lists

Honestly? I don't really make lists like that, I just pick up something I've got on my shelf/kindle when I feel like it (review books are obviously different). However, all the ARCs I've currently got on my Kindle are Winter releases, so there's that. So the ten following books are ones I already own and really hope to get to this Fall. They're listed in no particular order.

Between the Spark and the Burn, by April Genevieve Tucholke
I really enjoyed the first book! I'll have to do a partial re-read and get to the second. I hope it continues the gothic mood :)

Angelfall, by Susan Ee
It's been on my shelf for close to a year and it's supposed to be fantastic.

Game, by Barry Lyga
I loved I Hunt Killers, and now that I've finally got Game, I want to read it soon. Also, the first one creeped me out so it's perfect for Fall. That season always makes me feel like reading moody, dark books.

Mortal Heart, by Robin LaFevers
I've got a shiny ARC of this one and look forward to reading it in a month or so :) I'm very curious about Annith's story! She's been a quite shadowy figure so far and she really surprised me at the end of the second book.

Hood, by Stephen R. Lawhead
I'd never heard of this book before last Spring, but then kept coming across it in the summer as an influence on books by author's I've read. So when I saw it at the second hand bookstore, I knew it was waiting for me. I've always been fascinated with Robin Hood, and I think this one's themed perfectly for the Fall season :)

Sabriel, by Garth Nix
I've been looking at this series for at least 10 years, I kid you not. I've owned a huge 1000+ pages omnibus edition for three years. So I'll be damned if I don't finally read at least the first book this Fall!

The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson
I've been hearing so much about this series and the cover and name make me think of Fall, so I hope I'll get to it!

The Lovely and the Lost, by Page Morgan
Another sequel I've been itching to read! Gargoyles. Paris. History. Yes, please!

Up From the Grave, by Jeaniene Frost
I'm so sad that this is the last Cat & Bones novel! But I need to read at least one vampire novel this Fall, and this series has never disappointed me.

The last pick: recommend me something dark and creepy! If it has faeries in it, cool. If not, that's also okay. But it has to be moody and horror-ish. Surprise me :)

Have you read or are you planning to read any of the books on my list? Does the season influence your taste in books? I noticed that I feel like reading a lot of high fantasy or creepy stuff this Fall. I could also have put Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder or Fire by Kristin Cashore on this list, they're both on my shelf. What about you?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: Savage Sparks and Stormy Seasons in Zombieland

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to showcase all the books we got in the past week. Those can be bought, won, gifted, for review, borrowed, print or ebooks... no matter, just share what you got :)

This week a two books I'd ordered from The Book Depository finally arrived!
April Genevieve Tucholke - Between the Spark and the Burn
Gena Showalter - Alice in Zombieland

I've been meaning to read this Alice series for forever! So when the paperback was on sale, I had to get it. Between the Spark and the Burn was a must! I'll need to do a partial re-read of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea though because I remember that there were quite a few twists at the end, but not exactly what they were...

The Bone Season is on there not because I bought it this week but because I've just read it and it was read-until-2am amazing! I'm so glad the sequel, The Mime Order, will be out in January already!

Bought as ebooks

Faking Normal, by Courtney C. Stevens
Savage Delight, by Sara Wolf
Storm, by Brigid Kemmerer
White Hart, by Sarah Dalton (freebie!!)

I read Faking Normal last Sunday and I cried. I'd read the prequel novella, The Blue-Haired Boy, in the spring and I've wanted the rest of the story ever since. It was very powerful and thought-provoking.
Savage Delight is the sequel to Lovely Vicious. After featuring it on a TTT a few weeks back, I've been urged on twitter to read the sequel. So here I go.
To be honest I don't really know what Storm is about, but many of my blogger friends have been raving about the series so when I saw it for 38 cent (weird price!) I thought I'd give it a try.
White Hart was free and looked like a great fantasy adventure! Also, I confess I fell in love with that cover. It reminds me of misty fall afternoons at my grandmother's farm.

That's it from my side :) Have you read any of them? And what books did you get in the past week?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Every Breath, by Ellie Marney

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine to spotlight upcoming book releases that we're excited about.

This week's pick

Release date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Tundra Books
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages

Goodreads description
When James Mycroft drags Rachel Watts off on a night mission to the Melbourne Zoo, the last thing she expects to find is the mutilated body of Homeless Dave, one of Mycroft's numerous eccentric friends. But Mycroft's passion for forensics leads him to realize that something about the scene isn't right--and he wants Watts to help him investigate the murder.

While Watts battles her attraction to bad-boy Mycroft, he's busy getting himself expelled and clashing with the police, becoming murder suspect number one. When Watts and Mycroft unknowingly reveal too much to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den--literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning to Rachel Watts again... 

The combination of genius and bad attitude is the main reason I want to read this one. Mycroft sounds like a really interesting character! I also feel drawn to the grittiness that I feel is being promised by the cover. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I've only read one book from but need to read more

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic that the participants come up with a top ten list for.

This week's topic are authors that we've only read one book of so far, but loved so much that we NEED to read more by them! My top ten are in no particular order.

Erin Morgenstern - The Night Circus
I don't think she's written (or at least published) anything since, but I'd sure love to read it!

Kimberly Derting - The Pledge
I've got The Essence on my shelf but haven't picked it up yet. I think I'll re-read The Pledge first. I really loved the world building and I'd rather avoid this period of confusion at the beginning of the second book when you don't really remember the 'rules' of the world.

Libba Bray - A Great and Terrible Beauty
I really need to read the sequels, as well as The Diviners. Beautiful writing, and I like her feminist stance.

Robin Wasserman - The Book of Blood and Shadow
This was so suspenseful and at times creepy. I really want to read The Waking Dark. It sounds just as ruthless and horror-ish.

Maggie Stiefvater - Lament
I'm reluctant to read the sequel, Ballad, because it switches the point of view. But I really want to pick up The Raven Boys!

Chuck Wendig - Blackbirds
I need the sequels of the series. Really great horror!

Victoria Schwab - The Archived
Such an amazing story!  I want Unbound as soon as the paperback is out. And Vicious. I want villainous narrators.

Jackie Morse Kessler - Hunger
I need to get the rest of the series about the Four Horsemen. I love the concept of this, and how each book picks up on an important social issue.

Andrew Davidson - The Gargoyle
I'd definitely read another one of his books written in the same vein, but everything else I see on his goodreads seems to be more children's literature. The Gargoyle though... it was perfect. It made me cry. A lot.

Rosamund Hodge - Cruel Beauty
I loved pretty much everything about this one. Can't wait to read more when they come out!

This was actually more difficult to compile that I thought it'd be, because there aren't that many authors I've only read one book of. Or if I've only read one, there is often a reason for that. Do you spot any favorites on my list? Anyone I need to move up on my TBR pile? And who did you pick?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Review and double Giveaway: Tempting Fate, by April White

Hey guys :)

If you’ve been following me for a while, you might remember the time when I had April White on the blog for an interview and reviewed her debut novel, Marking Time. I’ve now had the chance to read Tempting Fate, the second book in the series, and I suggest that you go and pick this series up immediately, because Marking Time is currently free on Amazon (and has a rating of 4.8 stars out of about 250 votes). Below is some more info on the book, as well as two giveaways! One of them is for two Audible gift codes for the audiobook of Marking Time and sponsored by April, and the other is for two ebook copies of Tempting Fate, offered by yours truly. Both are open internationally. But without further ado, let's get to the book!

Relase date: June 28, 2014
Publisher: Corazon Entertainment
Format: ebook and paperback, 400 pages

Goodreads description
Seventeen-year-old Clocker Saira Elian is back on the run and being hunted by Mongers. The Descendants of War are amassing power in the 21st century, bent on controlling all the Immortal Descendants. Their attempt to kidnap Saira, a rare Descendant of Time and Nature, reveals just how brazen they’ve become. Archer, the vampire who has loved Saira for over a century, is willing to risk everything to protect her.

When a horrific vision reveals Ringo, thief and loyal companion from 1888, being tortured at the hands of the bloodthirsty Bishop Wilder in a Renaissance prison, Saira and Archer realize there has been a ripple in the river of Time, and they must travel to 1554 to find its source and save their friend. Their rescue mission lures them to the Tower of London, site of the most notorious executions in history, where they encounter the mysterious Lady Elizabeth who is confronting a terrible fate of her own.

The time-traveler, the vampire, and the thief will need all of their skills and ingenuity as they race against time to steal a document that could change the course of history and put the Immortal Descendants at the mercy of the Mongers. Can they stop a madman bent on collecting the blood of history’s most powerful Seer before the executioner’s axe falls?


April White has been a film producer, private investigator, bouncer, teacher and screenwriter. She has climbed in the Himalayas, lived on a gold mine in the Yukon, and has read the entire Harry Potter series three times; once to herself and twice out loud to her boys. She and her husband share those boys and their home in Southern California with their dog, various chickens, and a lifetime collection of books. April wrote her first novel, Marking Time, because it's what she wanted to read, and now needs to finish the five-book series so she can find out what happens next.

Goodreads     Website     Blog     Twitter

Just as a quick info, this review contains some spoilers for Marking Time, so read at your own discretion.
I can tell you upfront that there is no hint of sophomore slump to be found here! The action, once more, starts immediately. Saira is still being hunted by the Mongers, the descendants of War, because they suspect that she is a hybrid of Time and Nature (she can time travel but also has heightened senses). Any mixing between the Immortal Descendants is forbidden, so if the Mongers attained proof of Saira’s heritage, she might be executed. Just as they would try to kill her boyfriend, Archer, if they could catch him. He is a descendant of Death – what we’d call a vampire. However, vampires, unlike the other descendants, are shunned. This doesn’t really make their relationship any easier, especially since Saira still has trouble integrating present-day vampire Archer and Archer the human student from 1888 that she fell in love with.

A new threat arises though. Archer was a Seer before he became a vampire, and Saira now shares his vision. And what they see is their friend Ringo, aged sixteen in 1888, being tortured in a Renaissance prison by Bishop Wilder, their old nemesis. Is this vision real? How did Wilder and Ringo end up in the past? And what influence does all this meddling with time have on the twenty-first century? One thing is clear though – they cannot leave Ringo to die in Wilder’s clutches. Eventually, the trio reunites in sixteenth-century London to save not only Ringo but also Elizabeth I – and with her, the future as they know it.

Something I already loved in the first book is the importance and the portrayal of history. And lucky for me, the late Victorian era and the Elizabethan age are among my favorite periods. I once spent almost a whole semester learning about Elizabeth, her strategies to wield and retain her power as queen regent, and her self-portrayal. What I saw in Tempting Fate was new to me though: Elizabeth before she became one of England’s greatest monarchs. Elizabeth, the young woman, often called Henry VII’s bastard, fearing for her life in the Tower of London. Elizabeth in serious danger of being executed by her own half-sister (Bloody) Mary.
I found April White’s portrayal of Elizabeth (both the positive and the negative) believable judging from what I know about her. I think it’s incredibly hard to bring such a well-known historical figure ‘to life’ in fiction, and I think she found a great balance between staying true to history (without simply reproducing clichéd preconceived knowledge) and filling in the gaps to mold Elizabeth into the story. It was very interesting to see Saira and Elizabeth meet, since both can be hard-headed women, and both are strong in different ways. And if they want to safe Elizabeth’s life and Saira’s future, they need to cooperate to stop her execution. Don’t worry though – if you’re not a history geek, everything will still be adequately explained and make sense to you!

Another thing I really enjoyed in Marking Time was the free-running, and I was so happy that it was part of the second book as well! It’s not just a ‘cool’ addition to Saira, it’s part of her character traits: she runs. And part of her challenges in Tempting Fate is to stop running and face the things in her life that she is afraid are slipping from her control. One of these is her relationship with Archer. She’s been alone for most of her life, and she had to deal with her mother disappearing for a week every two years without explanation. It’s hard for her to trust, to rely on other people, to relinquish control.
But she has to learn to do that if she wants to be with Archer. I’m not going to lie, it hurt me to see them struggling to find a way to maintain their relationship because I’m rooting for them so badly. They’re amazing together. But on the other hand, I really like that for once, not everything is hunky-dory as soon as the couple comes together. Having a relationship with someone is not a piece of cake under normal circumstances – add to that the fact that one of them is over a hundred years old and the other a hunted time traveler. It would be unrealistic if they were just peachy.

Another thing that makes this series unique is the world building. That, too, is taken to another level in Tempting Fate. More is revealed about the Immortal Descendants, the families, their politics. I also love how once more, the present and the past are tied together. The secondary characters were fleshed out even more, the stakes higher – in both the past and the present. The pacing was again spot-on and I was never sure how things would turn out. Towards the end, there was no way I was putting the book down. And no way I could have anticipated what would happen.

I could talk about so many more aspects of the book. How happy I was that Ringo was once more a part of it, the relationship dynamics between Archer and Saira, between Saira and her mother. The way the characters’ actions and decisions always make me reconsider my own life and decisions. The story makes me ask questions, and it does so in an unobtrusive, non-didactic way, simply because I empathize with the characters and their situation. Once more, I think what I love most is how all the different, small aspects and parts of the story are tied together into a coherent whole. You can see from the length of this review how difficult it was to try and touch on all the ways in which this novel and series are amazing. And from what I know about book three, I can already tell there’s more awesomeness to come! If you love time travel, shifters, and an intricate world and plot with strong and complex characters, you really should give this series a try!

As promised, there are two of them, both open internationally as long as you can receive books from Amazon. The rules are as usual: one entry per person, you have to be at least 13, and cheating results in disqualification. Check the details in the Rafflecopter rules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Meeting Deborah Harkness in Amsterdam

Hey guys :)

I used to do more personal, get-to-know-me posts on Sundays and I'd like to take that habit up again. This week, I'd like to tell about what I did on Saturday last week. A very dear friend of mine moved from Switzerland to Belgium almost a year ago, and during the summer we decided it's time I visit her again. We'd agreed on some time in August, but then she heard that Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, would be signing the last book in the trilogy, The Book of Life, in Amsterdam on the 6th of September. So I postponed the trip, and she talked her boyfriend into driving all of us from their little town near Antwerp all the way to Amsterdam. Because he is a great boyfriend, he agreed.

Well... not all went as planned. We took off with time to spare, but the GPS lied - you couldn't go 120 km/h on the highway, only 100. So instead of a bit over two hours, the trip took us at least three. Traffic was bad. We also couldn't park where we'd thought we could, and we weren't sure how to get to the bookstore. We were supposed to be there by 1:55 pm at the latest, as they'd lock the doors then. After a mad dash through the inner city of Amsterdam, we arrived at 2:08. We'd already kind of resigned ourselves to the fact that the trip was pretty much in vain, but we rang the bell. And one of the employees opened the door for us!!! :D Thank you, kind Dutchman, whoever you were!

So we barged into the room sweaty and out of breath, but it was so worth it! Deborah Harkness was so nice! The event was less a reading and more of a Q&A, and I was glad that there were no weird silences where nobody asks a question. The questions, too, were not just run-off-the-mill stuff but really interesting, relating both to how she came up with the idea of the series, her non-fiction research and writing, combining her academic and fiction-author careers, and whether or not she plans and outlines her books. I can't give you a detailed rundown because I didn't take any notes, I was too busy listening and soaking up the atmosphere. I was also really glad there were no spoilers for book 3, since I haven't read it yet.

After the Q&A, the whole party moved over to the actual bookstore (the main event was at a different building owned by the store) and there was a desk set up on the square in front of the store, where the line for the signing formed. I ran into the store to buy my book while my friend kept my space in the line. It moved slowly, but that was because Deborah took the time to talk to everyone a bit instead of just signing and smiling in an assembly-line kind of way. I'm always a bit nervous when I meet authors (not that it happens very often) but she put me at ease. We both took a picture with her together and got all our copies signed. There you go:
After that, we browsed the amazing American Book Center, or ABC, whose fantasy section was, well, fantastic, and bought some more books. Then we miraculously found the car and took the long road home, including several turn-arounds because the highway we should have taken was closed off. But that was okay because we had great music and were singing along to stuff from the 80s to My Chemical Romance and basically having a car party ^^

Despite the car trouble, it was an awesome trip! Thanks again, amazing friend and her boyfriend who has to suffer our bookish moods, for taking us!

Have you ever taken a trip to meet an author you admire? Do you feel nervous when you meet them? Or do you, for whatever reason, not like this type of bookish event? Let me know in the comments :)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: Lovely, dark, and signed dancers under the bell jar

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to showcase all the books we got in the past week. Those can be bought, won, gifted, for review, borrowed, print or ebooks... no matter, just share what you got :)

This is my first StS post since the end of January, so obviously I bought A LOT of books during that time. Listing them up here would be tedious for all of us, so I'm only showing you a small selection. I'm also planning on writing mini-reviews or a quick spotlight on some of the books I've read during my time away from blogging. So today I'm showing you...

The Classics
 The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
Les Fleurs du Mal, by Charles Baudelaire
Richard II, by William Shakespeare
The Tempest, by William Shakespeare
Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard

I picked up the Shakespeares and Arcadia from used books stores in New Orleans and San Francisco. I'm especially happy that I found Arcadia - my only copy was in my Norton Anthology of Literature, which weighs a ton and makes for a bothersome re-read. It's my favorite play (yes, I like it more than Shakespeare) and it's not that easy to get a hold of, unless you want to pay upwards of 40 bucks for a whole collection of Stoppard's plays.
I've also wanted to read Les Fleurs du Mal for a very long time, but I'm always a bit wary of translations, especially when it comes to poetry. This edition has the French original and the English translation side by side, which is awesome because I know French, but not well enough to read Baudelaire without a crutch. I bought this edition and The Bell Jar at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco (they have a whole room just for poetry!) which was a special thing for me to do. I've wanted to go there ever since I first heard about it in class when we discussed the Beat poets. It's a wonderful place, and it made me wish I'd grown up in that city. Or maybe I'm just a bit morose because I finished The Bell Jar a few hours ago and it really left an impression on me. I wish I had already read when I was 18 or 19.

The Long-Awaited
 The Lovely and the Lost, by Page Morgan
Dancers at the End of Time, by Michael Morcock

Technically, only The Lovely and the Lost was long-awaited. I was writing my thesis when it came out so the release kind of went past me. I really loved The Beautiful and the Cursed though, so I hope I can read it soon.
I read a lot about Moorcock while I was writing my thesis (about Steampunk and it's 19th-century precursors) but I didn't feature any of his work in my thesis, so I was really happy to find this one at a bookstore in Amsterdam last Saturday! It contains three of his novels and it's all inspired by the fin-de-siècle and Wilde and the decadent movement ^^

The ARCs
Mortal Heart, by Robin LaFevers

I got both of these at ALA in Vegas and you can imagine my amount of inner (okay, and some outer) squeeee :D I've already read Darkest Part of the Forest and loved it! It's also signed ^^

I also got two ARCs from Edelweiss:

The Fall, by Bethany Griffin
The Cemetery Boys, by Heather Brewer

I've featured The Fall as this week's WoW post, and I'm very excited to finally have the opportunity to read something by Heather Brewer! This one is a standalone, so it's perfect. She also has two series, but somehow the number of books always daunted me a bit.

The Graphic Novels
The Good Neighbors series, by Holly Black
Coffin Hill: Forest of the Night, by Caitlin Kitteredge

The picture only shows book 2 and 3 of the Good Neighbors, but I have them all, and they're all signed :D I got them at Book of Wonders in New York. They had so many signed books! And that was before I actually met Holly Black, and I already thought things couldn't get better.
Coffin Hill was a spontaneous purchase at a comic store in the Castro district in San Francisco. I've heard about Kitteredge's other books, and the artwork looked cool. Also, I wanted something to remember the store by. As for the Extraordinary Gentlemen, I've wanted to read that one for a long time, so I had to have it.

The Signed
The Book of Life, by Deborah Harkness
Game, by Barry Lyga
The Shadow Society, by Marie Rutkoski

At this point, I need to thank Kelly from Effortlessly Reading again! She gifted me Game and The Shadow Society. Gifted! Signed books! Just like that o.O I was flabbergasted. And very, very happy! I'll tell you all about my Amsterdam trip to Deborah Harkness tomorrow, so I didn't take a picture of her signature, but here are the others:

The "Disturb the Universe" note makes me happy, because it's an important part of the book and also one of my favorite sections from my favorite poem ^^

Alright, that's it! Any comments on my haul? Does anyone even bother to read my accounts of how I got into possession of the books? Anyhow, I'm curious to see your own new shelf-pretties, so link me up :)