Bookish Bits & Bobs

I realize that all of my posts lately have either been book reviews or ongoing features of one sort or another — but no general musings or *deep* thoughts on the life of a reader. And that’s fine, but maybe it’s time for a general catch-up post with the random pieces of bookish ephemera that have been floating through my life:

  • Call it my mid-October resolution. Because who needs to wait for January 1st? I’m trying to put myself on a book stone-figure-10541_640diet. No more reading the random books that catch my eye until I catch up on my review books! I love the nice folks at NetGalley, but now I’m swamped! I made myself a pretty schedule of reviews a couple of months ago, but alas! I strayed. I read other things. And now I’m behind. So, I hereby resolve to declare “hands off” for all books lying around my house until I get through all of the review copies yet to be read on my Kindle! My goal is to catch up on all books with publication dates up through the end of November. And then I can return to my wanton ways, reading whatever the heck catches my eye at any given moment.girl-160172_1280
  • My new bloggy resolution, aka The Rule of 5 (because I like to give things titles…): I’m going to make more of an effort to explore the blogging world, and my goal is to visit five new blogs each and every day. Wish me luck!
  • Why am I not at New York Comic-Con? (Okay, the answer is that I live on the West Coast; that was a rhetorical question). I’m missing the Outlander panel, and I’m simply green with envy. But this piece at least reassures me that the Starz Outlander series is in very good hands!
  • Now that the fall TV season is underway, I’m finding myself with less time to curl up and read each evening. This is not a good thing. Something has got to go… hmmm, must prune the season-pass shows on my DVR pronto!
  • My son wants to read more graphic novels. The problem is, where to start? If he wants to read Batman, Superman, Spiderman, or Iron Man (or any of their known associates), the choices are simply overwhelming. If you have recommendations on good entry points or sequences for any or all, please drop me a note! Bear in mind that this is for an 11-year-old (although, okay, I may read ’em too!). Thank you mucho.
  • I haven’t been to an author event in ages… so I was excited to see a few appearances coming up in my area that I don’t want to miss! David Levithan, Rainbow Rowell, Gail Carriger… Let’s see if I can actually make it out of my house and attend!
  • A coworker came up to me today and said, “I hear you have a blog! I can’t wait to read it!” Well, I’m of two minds about that. Sure, getting more readers is a good thing. And yes, blogs are by their nature open to the public. But. This is a person who isn’t a personal ftux-161406_640riend, just a coworker. Granted, someone I like a lot and who’s an avid reader, but still. Boundaries. It makes me uncomfortable to think that the line between my work life and my creative outlets may become blurred. I’m interested in others’ experiences: Do you share your blog with everyone in your “real life”? Or do you keep it more or less private, sharing with your online circles but not your actual friends and acquaintances?
  • Again with the 11-year-old: His school has a Doctor Who club! It meets during lunch on Fridays, open to anyone who wants to get together to watch episodes and discuss them. Fun! And yet — nerdy! I encouraged him to go… but mustn’t push. Just because I’d choose Doctor Who over pick-up touch football games doesn’t mean my son needs to.
  • I’m joining the world of audiobooks! Or, at least, I’m giving it a shot. I’ve never been able to focus while listening to a book, but decided to download a copy of the Outlander audiobook last week when heading out by myself for a long walk. I think it helps that I know the story so well — but so far, so good! I’ve been listening in brief snatches during solo car rides… although my real intent was to motivate myself to go to the gym and hit the treadmill or elliptical while listening to the book. Yeah, so far, that hasn’t happened. Still, I’m really having fun listening to the book, and the narrator is truly wonderful, especially with her ability to switch back and forth between her British and Scottish accents. I’m still not sure that I’dĀ  have the patience for a book that’s new to me — but for now, Outlander on ITunes is a treat!

Book News & Stuff That I Find Exciting (or at least noteworthy…):

  • There’s a new Firefly/Serenity comic book series on the way! According to this article, it will pick up after the events of the Serenity movie. I’m in!
  • How do y’all feel about books with movie tie-in covers? I came across this image of the new Australian cover for The Book Thief. Thoughts? I suppose if it attracts more readers to an amazing book, I shouldn’t knock it. Right? But for me personally, I never buy books with movie tie-in covers. *Shudder*
  • Who else is a Madeline fan! C’mon, raise your hands for the old house in Paris all covered in vines! Here’s a great tribute to the 75th anniversary of Madeline.
  • Cover reveal! I can’t wait to read Landline, Rainbow Rowell’s new book due out next July!
  • Are female characters stronger in children’s literature than in adult fiction? Read what author Kate Mosse has to say about it, here.
  • Catcher in the Fry? McDonalds plans to start giving out books instead of toys in Happy Meals. For realz.
  • An end to airbrushing? Verily magazine shows women as they are — no photoshopped bodies or faces allowed.

And that’s all for today! Must unplug, unwind, read a book, go for a walk… it’s the weekend! Happy Saturday, happy reading, and happy whatever-makes-you-happy to all!

17 thoughts on “Bookish Bits & Bobs

  1. Well golly I’m a big comics fan of the 70’s/ 80’s variety- I like newer stuff too, but that was a great time growing up w/ comics and for my 11 yr old daughter who is interested in the Avengers, I’ve been introducing her to some of that stuff. This might be a good choice if you don’t mind older comics. http://www.amazon.com/Spider-Man-Marvel-Team-Up-Claremont-Byrne/dp/0785158669/ref=pd_sim_b_76 Also Avengers: Heart of Stone is a compilation of Avengers from that period. Iron Man is in them. My daughter liked them, but again they’re an older style than todays stuff. If you’re not interested in older stuff just disregard all this. šŸ™‚

    I’m actually leery (or maybe self conscious) at times about sharing my blog with coworkers- they know I love books but it does feel weird sometimes to share that with them. Not sure why- maybe I’m afraid it looks amateurish (I just have a basic design at the moment), but yeah it feels weird to mix those two worlds…

    I don’t like movie tie-in covers either. Lord of the Rings and Game of THrones both come to mind- ugh.

  2. Whoops… I think my comment got lost in the ether. Try this again… for good (older) comics you could try http://www.amazon.com/Spider-Man-Marvel-Team-Up-Claremont-Byrne/dp/0785158669/ref=pd_sim_b_76. My 11 yr old daughter liked it… also Avengers: Heart of Stone is a recent release and is a compilation of older (70’s/80’s) comics. Iron Man is in that. Good stuff from that period.

    I’m not really comfortable sharing my blog with co- workers either for some reason… not sure why, it just feels weird to mix those worlds. Maybe I’m afraid it looks amateurish since my design is pretty basic… I keep thinking down the road when it looks spiffier then I’ll be more comfortable w/ that! Maybe…:)

    I don’t like movie tie-in covers either. Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones come to mind- ugh.

    • Thank you! I’ll check out the comics recommendations — very much appreciated! It’s hard to know where to start with comics like these that have been around forever… and it’s so hard to get my son to read that I’m thrilled when he expresses an interest in a BOOK. šŸ™‚

      I think one of the reasons I’m hesitant about sharing my blog is that it’s personal, in a weird way. I’m much more comfortable having people I don’t know read my thoughts than having a coworker read something I wrote that’s completely different than my work persona. I like the freedom of writing a blog, and I worry that I’ll edit my thoughts more if I know that people I interact with professionally are going to read it too.

      Ugh is right for the LOTR movie tie-in covers! And then I came across this, which is truly awful: http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/09/12/james_franco_as_i_lay_dying_book_cover_worst_movie_tie_in_book_cover_ever.html

  3. I don’t share my blog with friends or coworkers (my best friend, yes, I did share). And Outlander on Starz…it makes me want cable badly. So far, I’m even okay with the casting (a rarity for me).

    I will have to look at Verily now – that’s admirable (and realistic!).

  4. I don’t advertise my blog among my real-life people, but many of them know that I have one, and for all I know they follow it and just don’t comment. It doesn’t really bother me, although it was definitely weird when I first started blogging, mixing those worlds.

    And I really don’t like movie tie-in covers. Even if I like the art, I still want the book to be able to exist apart from the movie. I get that it’s a marketing move and for all I know it works great to get more people to read who otherwise might not, so yay for that… but what I really don’t like is that once the movie cover comes out, that’s usually all you can find. So if you want the original cover, well, too bad, should’ve bought it sooner.

    • I so agree with this. Once a movie comes out the book cover changes and then thats all you can get. So aggravating… and the tie-in cover is almost never better than the original. Worst of all is when the new cover is just a picture of one of the actors. Please.

  5. I occasionally link my blog posts on my personal Facebook page, so those that I am friends with have found out. Work has been tough, since I’m a high school teacher and don’t want my students to know- I have to ask colleagues that I do accept friend requests from to keep it on the DL. So far, so good, but I know the day will come…. And I love your idea of visiting 5 blogs a day. I don’t think I’m ready for that kind of commitment, but I do need to get “out-and-about” more!

    Oh, and I saw you’re link on my blog for Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts- thanks for participating!

    • I’m not sure that I’m going to actually succeed at the 5 blogs a day idea… but it’s something to shoot for! I definitely love the Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts concept — so glad I was pointed in your direction!

  6. Definitely like the second image more for the movie-tie-in cover for The Book Thief, much more aesthetically pleasing to my eyes, lol.

    Madeline! One of my favourite books growing up ā¤

    That's so cool that your kid's school has a Doctor Who club xD

    Love the cute little penguin graphic with the books. Hope you’re having a great weekend! šŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Lianne! I hope you’re enjoying the weekend too! (I was always a Madeline fan, and had so much fun as a mom reading the books with my kids).

    • Oh no, I don’t like that at all! But in general I don’t care for movie tie-in covers ever… and some just make me laugh. (I lied in another comment — I don’t really mind the LOTR covers with Viggo Mortenson on them — because, really, it’s Viggo! — but all others get a big NO from me).

      I’m trying to slow down on my NG requests for a bit. I think I got myself in over my head over the summer, when I requested a lot, thinking I wouldn’t get approved for very many — and then most ended up being yesses. Nice, but ooooh, it’s overwhelming sometimes. But in a good way! šŸ™‚

  7. i have started sharing with some people in my real life but I typically pick and choose who I share with. Otherwise, when it comes down to it. My blog is a lot of who I am. If they don’t like the blog, whatever, as long as I still like me that’s all that matters. šŸ™‚

  8. I asked my husband about Iron Man and Spiderman and he gave me an encyclopedia’s worth. WAY too much info. I was like holy crap, she’s going to be more overwhelmed than when she started. Haha. I will task him with narrowing that down since that was the whole point of asking. šŸ™‚

    I don’t share my blog with real lifers (other than my mom). That’s too many intended audiences for me to filter thank you very much. :/ Sorry you were outed.

    I’ve been a fan of audiobooks for a very long time. I love them, and it’s so much easier to gain access to them these days.

    I’m not a fan of movie tie in covers, either. I don’t think it used to bother me before blogging, but it really bothers me now.

    • The whole “outing” as a blogger is a bit weird for me, since I’m not especially secretive to begin with. I’ve let my Facebook friends know about my blog, and the ones who are book people tend to read it, which is great. Likewise, I’m Goodreads friends with some people from my “real” life — basically, anyone who loves books is welcome! But it starts creeping me out a bit when it’s people who wouldn’t normally talk books with me, but just check it out to see what I’m up to. (Okay, do I sound paranoid now??) šŸ™‚

      Thanks for the comics referrals! LOL. Glad to hear your husband is enthusiastic!

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