November 30, 2011

Beyond the Shelf - The Literary Gift Company

I guess we've established by now how much we all love books. How about sharing this love with our fellow bookaholics or maybe even those who haven't quite reached the stage of obsession we have?

I found The Literary Gift Company while searching for some bookish gift ideas for Christmas and I was delighted! I hadn't known about this online shop before, and when I came across it, I was instantly enthralled. They offer so many cute and unique things that, quite frankly, I'd love to gift a whole lot to myself, haha!

Situated in the UK, The Literary Gift Company, much to my relief, delivers internationally, and the shipping charges look quite reasonable too.

Gifts for Him. Gifts for Her. Gifts for readers. Gifts for writers. Basically, gifts for everyone who loves books. And off I go to order a gift ... or maybe two!

Charles Dickens Bag made from, you already guessed it, a book

Brooch, made from, once again, a book

Jane Austen Puzzle
Uhm ... well, this is pretty much self-explanatory
And ohhh ... the perfect gift for yours truly!

November 29, 2011

Quote Garden - A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends

Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.

Books that teach us to dance: There are writers who, by portraying the impossible as possible, and by speaking of morality and genius as if both were high-spirited freedom, as if man were rising up on tiptoe and simply had to dance out of inner pleasure.

It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.

No one can draw more out of things, books included, than he already knows. A man has no ears for that to which experience has given him no access.

The worst readers are those who behave like plundering troops: they take away a few things they can use, dirty and confound the remainder, and revile the whole.

By Friedrich Nietzsche

November 28, 2011

A Writer's Life - You must be joking

I've never been one to remember jokes. Or if I do then you can rest assured that I totally mess up the punch line. Now it may come as no big surprise that I never dreamed of actually writing jokes either. Not even ones about books, or more specifically, writing. Yet not everyone is averse to creating jokes on the topic and when I came a cross a few funny ones, I figured why not, for once in my life, share jokes without punching the line ... haha, not funny, I know (which is why the following funnies have been written by folks who are more adept to, well, joking)!

A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.
She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.
"Oh my," said the writer. "Let me see heaven now."
A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.
"Wait a minute," said the writer. "This is just as bad as hell!"
"Oh no, it's not," replied an unseen voice. "Here, your work gets published."


A linguistics professor was lecturing to his English class one day. "In English," he said, "a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative."
A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."


How many science fiction writers does it take to change a light bulb?
Two, but it's actually the same person doing it. He went back in time and met himself in the doorway and then the first one sat on the other one's shoulder so that they were able to reach it. Then a major time paradox occurred and the entire room, light bulb, changer and all was blown out of existence. They co-existed in a parallel universe, though.

How many publishers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Three. One to screw it in. Two to hold down the author.

How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Two. One to screw it almost all the way in, and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

How many screenwriters does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Why does it *have* to be changed?

How many cover blurb writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?


Three men: an editor, a photographer, and a journalist are covering a political convention in Miami. They decide to walk up and down the beach during their lunch hour. Halfway up the beach, they stumbled upon a lamp. As they rub the lamp a genie appears and says "Normally I would grant you three wishes, but since there are three of you, I will grant you each one wish."
The photographer went first. "I would like to spend the rest of my life living in a huge house in St. Thomas with no money worries." The genie granted him his wish and sent him on off to St. Thomas.
The journalist went next. "I would like to spend the rest of my life living on a huge yacht cruising the Mediterranean, with no money worries." The genie granted him his wish and sent him off.
Last, but not least, it was the editor's turn. "And what would your wish be?" asked the genie.
"I want them both back after lunch," replied the editor, "the deadline for tomorrow's newspaper is in ten hours.

We have a winner ...

Looking back on the past week it's safe to say that the Gratitude Giveaways were a huge success! My giveaway got many entries, but most of all, I am happy to welcome a whole lot of new followers on my blog. I'm not sure exactly how many I had before the giveaway started - I think roughly 570, or so - and now I passed the 700 mark. Could this possibly have to do with the fact that the mandatory entry was being a blog follower? Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Anyway, there is someone who will very soon be wearing a lovely “I'd Rather Be Reading” Apron and this person is ...

E-mail is on the way and please get back to me within the next 48 hours!

Did not win this time? You'll get plenty of chances to get your hands on more bookish goodies starting December 12th when I kick off my Blogoversary Giveaway Bash!

November 27, 2011

In My Mailbox (20)

This week's mailbox can be best described with one word. Awesome! Let's have a look now, shall we?

I received Death: A Survival Guide (Sarah Brewer) for review from Quercus. Those of you who read my previous post already know I couldn't resist and already read this quirky book!

As someone who loves to join in the Sharing Beyond Books feature at Reviews By Martha's Bookshelf I once again got lucky and ended up with $ 10,00 to spend. Being pretty much on top of my wishlist, I picked Wither (Lauren DeStefano).

Then I received a personalized *eeek* copy of Torment (Lauren Kate) which I've won at the Fantastic Fables event over on Tynga's Reviews. This was actually a bit of a surprise, because I was expecting Passion instead, but seeing how I have read neither one, this is perfectly ok too.

Of course this hasn't been all, because I also won Slave to Sensation (Nalini Singh) at Book Lovers Inc. and it even arrived with a Book Lovers Inc. bookmark. A blog with their own bookmarks! How neat is that?

Last but so definitely not least, Lacey from Owl Love You Books surprised me with Soulless (Gail Carriger)! Thanks so much, girl!

Thanks to The Story Siren for hosting the IMM meme!

Books Aplenty - Lovely and quirky

One oh so lovely and one oh so quirky read! You could say it's been a good week in reading for me, even though I only managed to read two books. To be honest, I am still working on the third book, and hopefully I will finish the 290 pages tome tonight. Ha. Is it just me or am I slowing down? Already in hibernation mode it seems.

Many of you have read the novel of the same title, and while I haven't done so myself, I couldn't resist the companion to the book, The Language Of Flowers: A Miscellany (Mandy Kirkby). This is a gorgeous little gift book in best Victorian tradition. Enveloped with beautiful illustrations and poetry, you learn about the meaning of different flowers. Loved it!

Death is no laughing matter. Then again, maybe it is. Death: A Survival Guide (Sarah Brewer) had me chuckling from page one, which might make you question my sanity. This book is full with information on ways to die and how to avoid them - everything from anaphylactic shock to tuberculosis, from boredom to snoring. And nope, I didn't make the last two up. Great combination of fact and humor!

Oh, alright then. Only 20 more pages or so to go. Fair enough.
I did (almost) finish The Secret Life Of A Slummy Mummy (Fiona Neill) which is a fun piece of chick lit though it (obviously) dragged in places. Or maybe I should blame the small print? It's one of those freebie books that came with a magazine, so they saved on pages and I saw the "normal" book is far longer. Anyway, an ok story about a Mom tangled up in her misadventures and ... well, that is basically it. I really enjoyed the witty and often comical narrative though.

And apropos page count. Have you noticed my Tea & Books Reading Challenge page above? If you've got some heavy tomes of over 700 pages (I know, I know, this is scary) on your TBR piles you might want to sign up for the challenge. The lowest level starts with only two books after all! And in case you're not into fat books, how about trying out some Dean Koontz? I created a challenge for this author too.

November 26, 2011

Review - What Language Is (John McWorther)

Languages are intricate and complicated and often quite messy. Especially when you're trying to learn a new one, you'll realize just how many rules there are, and even more exceptions to those rules. Blessed those with a talent for learning foreign tongues. In What Language Is John McWorther introduces the reader in a both insightful and fun way to languages, shedding light not only on their history but also on the way they evolve and change.
Very entertainingly written, yet a bit heavy on actual examples (oh my), this book really intrigued me. The author not only discusses the most spoken languages of our world, but also points at the relevance of languages that seem doomed to extinction in the years to come. Admittedly it was a bit discouraging to read all his examples of translations, though it beautifully showed how intricate languages really are. From simple languages, such as English or Persian, straight to those that make you glad you don't need to actually learn them, such as Nasioi in New Guinea where you have 100 genders (and you thought having to learn two in French was tough). Add a fascinating excursion into Black English too.
As important as the written word may appear, it's noteworthy how McWorther puts an emphasis on language being oral. The spoken word is how it all started after all. And speaking remains the way that much of language is produced.
In short: A highly recommendable book for anyone interested in linguistics!

4/5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review - AfterWord (Dale Salwak)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to meet a long dead author of your choice? This is exactly what happens in AfterWord by Dale Salwak. Bringing together several biographers and novelists who contribute to this collection of stories in which they conjure the Literary Dead, the reader will meet Thomas Hardy and Samuel Beckett, as well as Jane Austen and Mary Shelley, to name but a few.
I admit, I was very much intrigued by the idea and the different approaches - visitation, evocation, and consolidation - that were taken to bring those long gone back for a little chat. While the introduction as well as the essay "Descent: Negotiating with the Dead" by Margaret Atwood were both promising and fascinating, the conversations and encounters often felt more like a synopsis of a certain writer's live, quite obviously composed by someone who knows their biography inside and out. What I missed in most cases was the, if not perfect, at least harmonious combination of fact and fiction.
There were only few essays that stood out for me, and sadly, I felt disappointed with most parts of the book. For those who are still curious about it, I can at least recommend my personal favorites, which are certainly worth the read. Those were the essays on George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, and Robert Frost.
In short: What a fabulous idea, yet some writers should have stayed in their graves!

2/5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Pajama Musings - Reading is sexy (or maybe not)

And to emphasis my point ...

Sexy? Yep.

Sexy? You gotta be kidding.

November 25, 2011

Book 101 - Mystery vs Thriller

Nothing like reading a cozy mystery on a cold and gray Sunday afternoon, wouldn't you agree?

Thrillers, who-dunits, mysteries, crime fiction, etc are quite often interchangeably used to describe the same overall genre of literary fiction - the mystery or crime story. Yet there are differences! A mystery is not equal to a thriller.

Thrillers are a genre that uses suspense, tension, and excitement as the main elements. The thriller can be loosely defined as a story in which the audience is waiting for something significant to happen. The protagonist's job is to prevent the bomb from exploding or the kidnappers from killing the major's wife. The thrill comes from identifying yourself with the hero and the danger he or she faces, making you a participant in the chase, racing heartbeat and all. The main character may be in danger from the beginning or become aware of danger only gradually in a thriller.

Mysteries are a crime genre that focuses on the efforts of the detective, private investigator or amateur sleuth to solve the mysterious circumstances of a crime by means of clues, investigation, and clever deduction. In a mystery the above mentioned "something" - usually a murder - has already happened, or will happen right at the beginning of the novel. The protagonist's job is to discover who committed the crime, and why. Basically a mystery is a novel of revelation, where the action is more mental than physical. If the protagonist is in any danger, it is usually moderate, and becomes a problem only as the he or she approaches the truth.
Another important difference is that in a mystery, the reader is exposed to the same information as the detective, but in a thriller the reader is aware of things unknown to the protagonist.

Personally I like to read both genres, though I admittedly have a penchance for those cozy mysteries as mentioned above. How about you? Are you more of a edge-of-the seat kind of reader who likes action packed thrillers or do you rather immerse yourself in playing sleuth to solve a crime? Maybe both?

November 24, 2011

Picture Garden - No Questions Asked

Oh the things you learn about someone
by risking a look into their trunk ...

November 23, 2011

My Reading Challenges

In the past weeks a lot of different reading challenges have popped up across the blogosphere. Why not present you with two of my own?

Dean Koontz Reading Challenge

No matter if you haven't read a book by him before or whether you know them all, this challenge is for both newbies as well as fans. It doesn't matter whether it's his latest novel or a re-read, every book with Dean's name on it counts! I'm a huge fan of Dean Koontz, so in my case it will be mostly re-reading, preferably of older books. If you should need some recommendations, don't hesitate to ask. And here's a little helper: Dean Koontz Book List

3 Books - Odd Thomas' Mailman

6 Books - Odd Thomas' Neighbor (this will be the one I'm settling for)

9 Books - Odd Thomas' Best Friend

12 Books or more - Odd Thomas' Stalker

If all this talk about Odd Thomas confuses you, I suggest you start the challenge by reading the respective novel!

To sign up, please read the general rules below! Then post about the challenge on your blog, including the button above, and don't forget to link back to the Dean Koontz Reading Challenge page on my blog!

Tea & Books Reading Challenge

This challenge was inspired by C.S. Lewis' famous words, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

You better settle in with a large cup of tea, because in this challenge you will only get to read ... wait for it ... books with more than 700 pages. I'm deadly serious. We all have a few of those tomes on our shelves and somehow the amount of pages often prevents us from finally picking them up. You may choose novels only, no short story collections or anthologies, and in case you're trying a short cut by picking large print editions of a book, well I'm sorry, those do not qualify for this challenge! Let's battle those tomes that have been collecting dust on our shelves, so no re-reads, please!

2 Books - Chamomile Lover

4 Books - Berry Tea Devotee

6 Books - Earl Grey Aficionado (this will be the one I'll try)

8 or more Books - Sencha Connoisseur

To sign up, please read the general rules below! Then post about the challenge on your blog, including the button above, and don't forget to link back to the Tea & Books Reading Challenge page on my blog!


RULES for both challenges

Anyone may join. Just leave a comment on the Reading Challenge page of your choice (of course you may join both challenges) with the following info:
Name / Blog (if you have one) / Chosen Level

I'll comprise a list with everyone and add it to the Challenge page!

Updates on the challenges will be posted on a regular basis and you may then comment with your own progress.

The challenges will take place between January 1st and December 31st 2012.

You can join any time between now and early 2012.

You have to pick a level, though you may "upgrade" to the next one at any time. In this case just drop me a line, so I can change your previous level.

You don't need to list your books ahead of time, though I won't object if you do. I'm definitely curious about your book choices for these challenges.

The books you choose may crossover into other challenges.

Both physical and eBooks are allowed, though personally I feel that especially the Tea & Books Reading Challenge is more fun with real books.

Reviews of the books read are not mandatory.

If you have any questions, please comment below!

Beyond the Shelf - Scene of the Blog

Cathy from Kittling Books has this wonderful feature called Scene of the Blog in which she allows readers a glimpse into the bookshelves, homes, and minds of fellow bloggers. Guess what! I'm making a guest appearance there today, woohoo!!
Curious? Go HERE.

November 22, 2011

Quote Garden - The madman's mind

If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.
Ray Bradbury

If a man comes to the door of poetry untouched by the madness of the Muses, believing that technique alone will make him a good poet, he and his sane compositions never reach perfection, but are utterly eclipsed by the performances of the inspired madman.

I don’t ask writers about their work habits. I really don’t care. Joyce Carol Oates says somewhere that when writers ask each other what time they start working and when they finish and how much time they take for lunch, they’re actually trying to find out, "Is he as crazy as I am?" I don’t need that question answered.
Philip Roth

To say that a writer's hold on reality is tenuous is an understatement - it's like saying the Titanic had a rough crossing. Writer's build their own realities, move into them and occasionally send letters home. The only difference between a writer and a crazy person is that a writer gets paid for it.
David Gerrold

I know writers have to be crazy. But more than that, they have to get mad and stay mad. If things don't make a writer mad, he'll end up writing Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottantail.
Leon Uris

November 21, 2011

A Writer's Life - The Chainsaw Incident

Last week I posted this as my status update: Whoever said that the pen is mightier than the sword hasn't seen me doing revisions. I'm talking chainsaw, baby!

There is no pen mighty enough for my trusted chainsaw. Most of the time I keep her in the basement where she slowly gathers dust. When I finally bring her in for some editorial support she will inevitably leave a path of destruction in her wake. Bloodbath is all I'm saying.

Every writer knows that writing a book isn't just fun and games. And it's not "just writing" either. It involves planning and plotting and screaming and yelling and then, maybe, a bit of typing too. Alright, I might be exaggerating, but only a bit.

One of my nasty writing habits is starting to revise in the middle of the creative flow. So basically I'm sitting here, writing. Threads are connecting, dialogues are emerging, and characters are pretty much doing what they want, and not what I tell them to. So I sit back every once in a while, looking at the last paragraph I've just composed. The next step might be obvious yet it isn't. I could simply continue where I just broke off or I could listen to the nagging voice that urges me to take a quick look at a certain passage as the wording could use a small but important change. This, my friends, is the beginning of the end. Of writing, that is.

Let me introduce you to the bad habit of spontaneous revising. This is one of the major mistakes I will make time and again. When you're on a roll don't stop to do something else ... unless your bladder is full and you need a potty break, which is perfectly ok. Just the same it is ok to walk the dog, make yourself a cup of tea, do the laundry, or water the plants. But. Do. Not. Revise. It will only harm your creative flow. Revising and writing are two very different pairs of shoes. There are days for the comfy slippers (writing) and there are days for those pesky heels (revising). Don't put on the slipper on one foot and the heels on the other. Settle for one pair at a time. Trust me, this works better in the long run. Run. Ha, love how this fits my footwear comparison.

Where was I?
My chainsaw.

This would be me.
With my chainsaw.
And the monsters lurking in my books.

Of course this isn't really me. My boobs are smaller, my butt bigger, and my hair longer, but ... hmmm, come to think of it, I do like that haircut! And the hair color really is like mine. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that a girl, I mean writer, has got to do what a writer's got to do. Though, before you start, don't forget to stack up on a mop, a bottle with bleach, and some body bags. 'Nuff said.

Copyright of the very cool picture belongs to Serge Birault

November 20, 2011

Books Aplenty - As I lay me down to sleep

Some books will keep you up at night, others will make you doze off within minutes. Now why would I mention this? Let me think ...

Who's never thought about which famous dead persons, or more precisely authors, they'd like to meet for a nice chat? In AfterWord (Dale Salwak) living authors do just that, sharing the circumstances and conversations with the reader. From Mary Shelley to Jane Austen, from Oscar Wilde to William Faulkner. sounds wonderfully intriguing and turned out to be one of the most boring books I've read this year. *stifling a yawn*

Do you know What Language Is (John McWorther)? Languages are intricate and complicated and often quite messy. Especially when you're trying to learn a new one you'll realize just how many rules there are, and even more exceptions to those rules. Blessed those with a talent for learning foreign tongues. Very entertainingly written, a bit heavy on actual examples (oh my), but certainly a recommendable book for anyone interested in linguistics.

Somebody please tell me why I thought The Way We Fall (Megan Crewe) would be a dystopian novel? I requested it on NetGalley this week, was approved the very next day and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. By the time I realized it is actually more of a thriller (though sequels might eventually fall into the dystopian genre, come to think of it) I was already so engrossed that I couldn't put the book down. The diary entry narrative took some getting used to, but it fits just perfect, making the whole virus-wipes-out-population scenario even more gripping and real.

Another book I received through NetGalley this week is The Edinburgh Dead (Brian Ruckley). Makes me dream about my vacation in Scotland *sigh* though I didn't encounter any zombies there (I think).

No IMM post this week, boohoo!!

November 19, 2011

Pajama Musings - Say what!?

Inspired by a recent blog post of Rikki from Rikki's Teleidoscope, I thought why not risk a look at search terms that lead people to my blog. Let's just say I had several WTF!? moments when I saw some of the strange searches that have been conducted ...

magic castle
Now that one is actually cute. No idea though what it's got to do with my blog. No, wait, that's a lie! I once posted a photo of a castle in my Picture Garden feature !

This is pretty obvious, I guess! Then again, you get a gazillion pages if you search for the word "book" and it makes me wonder what kind of disturbed mind would actually browse and look at a gazillion websites and/or blogs before finally, three months later, ending up on mine.

funny pics regarding risk
No kidding! What risk? And why funny?

antique typewriter
Grandma, is that you?

anton yelchin recent hair loss
I'm really at a loss (haha) about this one! Could it get any weirder?

the effects of decomposition, concerns of premature burial
In answer to the last, not quite rhetorical, question ... YES!

in mainly three
What? In mainly three ... what? Hours? States? What!? Don't you think this one additional word might have narrowed down the search results?

garden makeover blogs
Maybe I should rename my blog? Nah ...

your books are facing eviction
No shit!

captivating read for developmental writers
Alright, I had to look up developmental writing (thank you wiki) to get this one and I really do hope that the one who searched for some book recommendations got lucky on my humble blog.

Well well ... people are strange! Their search terms even stranger!

Are you a blogger too? Why don't you share your own stats on search terms with your readers? And me, for that matter! I'll never pass on the chance of having a good laugh!!

November 18, 2011

The Others - The End

I can't even begin to tell you how tired I've grown of Friday's feature. I can see that a lot of you nod in agreement. After presenting 44 authors I'm calling it quits. Finally. The good news is that there will be an all new feature starting next week.
The title?
Book 101

Hope you're all as excited as yours truly about the new feature which will be filled with bookish knowledge, from genres to language straight to history.

But before I leave, here a rundown of all the featured authors:
  1. Doris Egan 
  2. Rick Castle 
  3. Enid Blyton 
  4. Wil Wheaton 
  5. The Brothers Grimm 
  6. Sophie Kinsella 
  7. Andreas Eschbach 
  8. Bradley Trevor Greive 
  9. Erma Bombeck 
  10. Larry Donner 
  11. Rachel Gibson 
  12. Thomas Kinkade 
  13. Terry Pratchett 
  14. Agatha Christie 
  15. Gary Larson 
  16. Charles Dickens 
  17. Dean Koontz 
  18. Trixie Koontz 
  19. Erich Kästner 
  20. Tess Gerritsen 
  21. Anonymous 
  22. Jane Austen 
  23. Edgar Allan Poe 
  24. Stephen King 
  25. Jessica Fletcher 
  26. Charlaine Harris 
  27. Wilhelm Busch 
  28. Dave Barry 
  29. Chris Manby 
  30. William Blake 
  31. J.R.R. Tolkien 
  32. Jennifer Crusie 
  33. Stefan Zweig 
  34. Snoopy 
  35. Authors of the Bible 
  36. The Ghostwriter 
  37. Alexandra Potter 
  38. William Shakespeare 
  39. Henry David Thoreau 
  40. Jill Mansell 
  41. Authors in (not of) literature 
  42. J.K. Rowling 
  43. Johannes Mario Simmel 
  44. Authors in Antiquity

    November 17, 2011

    Picture Garden - In The Distance

    The fog embraced everything
    until the setting sun
    painted the distant horizon
    taking away one kind of pale
    replacing it with another.

    Gratitude Giveaways

    Welcome to the
    Gratitude Giveaways
    (November 17th - November 27th)
    hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & All Consuming Books

    What is a giveaway hop? That's simple. Each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another. For followers this means lots of chances to win free books and other goodies. For blogs hosting a giveaway it means lots of new visitors and followers. It's a win-win!

    And now …
    … a different kind of bookish prize!

    You see, Thanksgiving is around the corner. Many will spend their time in the kitchen to cook cook cook ... so I thought about this for a giveaway!

    I'm giving away a “I'd Rather Be Reading” Apron from Cafepress. I couldn't think of a better statement for every reader who's being forced to cook! In case the winner wouldn't be caught dead near a kitchen he/she may alternatively opt for a $ 25,00 Cafepress Giftcard.
    Please note: I am in no way affiliated with Cafepress, I just happen to like the stuff they sell. Also, I will have the prize shipped to the winner directly through Cafepress to save on additional shipping costs.

    This particular hop is directed at my fabulous followers, so all you have to do is follow me publicly on GFC (if that doesn't work for you for one reason or another, you may also follow through Networked Blogs or by e-mail - just let me know which way you follow in the comments) and don't forget to leave your e-mail address with your comment so I may contact you in case you're the winner.

    One entry per person.
    Open worldwide.

    One winner will be picked through on November 28th and will then be contacted by e-mail as well as announced here on my blog. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and if he/she fails to do so I will draw a new winner.

    And now, head on over to the rest of the blog hop participants!

    November 16, 2011

    Beyond the Shelf - Vienna Book Fair

    Here's another Travel Edition of today's feature! Last weekend I went to the Vienna Book Fair and seeing how I don't live far from the capital it wasn't really a long commute, but to most of my readers it will probably mean to go on a long flight to even get here.

    Not at all comparably to the big events like the one in Frankfurt, or even more so the holy grail of all book fairs, the Book Expo America, I ended up being far from impressed. The book fair was small, with one big bookstore at the end, and lots of booths where you could subscribe to newspapers or magazines. In between were various publishers, featuring only few books and bored faces, and then I also saw two of those publishing houses that make you pay for getting your book published with them. Their booths were pretty big which made me wonder how much those poor authors had to pay for the honor of being published. To make matters even worse, I am too much interested in authors from the UK and the US, to be thrilled about interviews and readings by Austrian and German authors. Shame on me, I know!

    All in all, I am glad I won my tickets and didn't have to pay for the privilege to visit the book fair!
    In all my disappointment I didn't snap many photos, but here are a few to prove I was actually there, ha!

    Yep, that's my smallish loot! The official Vienna Book Fair magazine, a couple of bookmarks, and matches. I didn't buy anything. Hard to believe, but so very true.

    November 15, 2011

    Review - Write-A-Thon (Rochelle Melander)

    A lot of people are participating in NaNoWriMo during the month of November, yet writing a book can be achieved any time. In Write-A-Thon Rochelle Melander suggests that everyone is capable of writing a book in 26 days.
    Everyone who ever wanted to write a book but felt discouraged by countless reasons why it might not be such a good idea after all, will get the boost they need. This guide offers lots of advice, from writing tools and techniques to helpful exercises, but most of all, Rochelle encourages the would-be-writer to make writing a life priority which, with the right planning and attitude, has room even in the busiest schedule. Showing up is the key! To sit down and write. No excuses.
    Not one of those dry how-to books, this compendium is engaging and inspiring, filled with real-life examples by different authors, and seasoned with great quotes at the beginning of chapters. I believe it is even for those who have already written books, because all writers struggle with many of the issues addressed here, including this awful thing called procrastination. I honestly wish this guide had already been available when I set out writing my first book as it would have been of tremendous help. While I have taken that first hurdle, it's safe to say that Write-A-Thon will come in handy for future writing projects of mine!
    In short: Highly recommended for everyone who ever wanted to write a book!

    5/5 stars

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    Review - That's Disgusting (Rachel Herz)

    What do you find disgusting? Let me rephrase the question. Ever wondered why your own spit doesn't bother you, but if someone spits at you you're disgusted? Or how about feeling like you might have to throw up when you see an accident and there's someone lying on the street with a severed limb, yet you're thrilled when someone gets butchered in a horror movie?
    Drawing on research in psychology and evolutionary biology, Rachel Herz presents fascinating and informative insights in her book That's Disgusting. While most of us know that disgust originated to prevent people from eating poisonous food, making it a survivalist emotion, it is in fact very complex, highly individual, and shaped by the culture we grew up in. And unlike other emotions disgust is not innate, but an instinct that has to be learned.
    Starting out with the most obvious topics - food as source of disgust - Rachel leads the reader down some unexpected paths. Disease, pornography, cannibalism, humor. All of these can be perceived as disgusting, while some may, oddly enough, even turn out to be fun and entertaining (unless you dislike stand-up comedians making jokes about bodily functions, that is). Especially the chapter on moral disgust intrigued me. Influenced by culture, it evokes the same emotion as physical disgust, yet it is clearly different.
    If you're interested in the topic, this book is definitely a must-read!
    In short: A truly absorbing and well researched book on the mysteries of repulsion!

    4/5 stars

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    Quote Garden - Was that you or the duck?

    From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend on reading it.

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

    The trouble with writing a book about yourself is that you can’t fool around. If you write about someone else, you can stretch the truth from here to Finland. If you write about yourself the slightest deviation makes you realize instantly that there may be honor among thieves, but you are just a dirty liar.

    I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.

    I’ll put off reading Lolita for six more years until she turns 18.

    By Groucho Marx

    November 14, 2011

    A Writer's Life - Sometimes several ideas attack me at once

    A frequently asked question to writers would have to be "Where do you get your ideas from?" So, what about the answer? Well, the answer can be anything from mind-bogglingly (love that word) complicated to really simple. It totally depends on who you ask.

    My own answer? They are everywhere! When you go through life with open eyes, a stroll through the park can be just as inspiring as watching a car with thumping music drive by. I don't have to watch the news to get an idea for an adventurous story filled with catastrophes and unexpected heroes. Adventure, as much as heroes, can be found in the small everyday observations that lots of people just overlook.

    While all those ideas are seemingly everywhere, not all are worse pursuing. Unless of course the one you just caught a glimpse of decided to only show its tail before hiding. Then you need to run fast before you loose sight of it. And sometimes, usually when you least expect it, ideas may even attack you in packs. That probably sounds terrific, after all a writer can't have enough ideas, right? Wrong. It's a bit like trying to get a class full of five year old's under control who all just had double Espressos. Not fun. It takes nerves of steel to get them all under control.

    The thing is, many people confuse having ideas with actual plotting. Let's compare it to building a house. You've got the idea that makes a wonderful window, then another which works well as carpet in the bedroom, and yet another one will be that leaking sink in the basement. Putting them all together is the tough part, because you need to connect them all to build, or rather write, a whole. And that is plotting.

    So, you see, it's not so hard to have ideas. If you keep your eyes and mind open you will realize they surround you all the time. All it takes is sifting the chaff from the wheat, which admittedly is one of the more difficult and somewhat tricky tasks. Like a puzzle you have then all those pieces in front of you. That is where the real fun begins. And this task is called plotting.

    Now you need to tickle your inner architect aka plotter a bit and start building the framework and put it on its foundation. Of course you can also start with the roof first and work yourself down. Laws of nature don't necessarily apply. And the construction supervision agency won't have anything to say here either. Knitting the ideas together, making an entity that, with a bit of profuse swearing, permanent headaches, and most of all, lots of typing, will end up being one of those things made of wood pulp and ink.

    You know, next time someone asks me where I take my ideas from I will memorize this situation in all its detail and use it as a doormat. Like I said, ideas are everywhere. Yet not everyone knows how to use them. This is what separates the average person from the person behind the keyboard.

    November 13, 2011

    In My Mailbox (19)

    I guess I'll have to declare my mailman one of my favorite people! We are already pretty close to being on a first-name basis and this week he even showed me a picture of his four year old grandson! But enough of Mr. Postman, on to my book haul ...

    Bought by yours truly were It Looked Different On The Model (Laurie Notaro) and How To Be A Woman (Caitlin Moran). I found out about the books on other blogs and simply couldn't resist as both sounded just like my kind of read!

    Then I received The Language Of Flowers: A Miscellany (Mandy Kirkby) for review from MacMillan.

    And I've won The Goddess Test (Aimee Carter) over at Bookworm Lisa. About time too that I finally hold the book in my hands as its been on my wishlist like what seems forever!

    Thanks to The Story Siren for hosting the IMM meme!

    Books Aplenty - Oh to read ...

    It's funny how much the quality of books can differ with self published books. Some are just awful and then there are those that are really amazing. Ten years ago everyone would frown upon self published books, but this has certainly changed over the years. Traditional publishers

    watch out!

    Admittedly Laying The Odds (J.R. Tomlin) wasn't one of the better novels. What might have turned into an epic fantasy adventure, filled with magick and runes, suffered from the relative shortness of the book that didn't allow much character development, not to mention the actual story being terrible rushed and lacking depth up to the very sudden ending. Add that the book could use some serious editing.

    Now Peace, Love, And Murder (Nancy Holzner) on the other hand was right up my alley. I
    t all starts with the trunk of a cab that houses a dead body, much to the dismay of the cab driver. A murder mystery filled with wonderful witty dialogues and the perfect chemistry between characters. A fast paced read that kept me guessing right til the end. Loved it!

    A bit of a strenuous read was Counting From Zero (Alan B. Johnston) a technological thriller filled with cyber attacks and a whole lot of knowledge on computers. Admittedly it just wasn't for me, especially because all that tech talk dragged and if it hadn't been for my optimism that it might pick up speed I probably wouldn't have finished the book at all. Good thing it was rather short.

    I didn't even look at the blurb before I started reading Changers Summer (Mike Lewis) and was pleasantly surprised to find myself immersed in a science fiction novel for kids. Add a bit of time travel and scientists who are(n't) trying to make up for what they did wrong to the environment many years ago. A great adventure story!

    While I didn't realize it when I requested the book it turned out that The Boy & Little Witch (Ben White) was indeed for the little ones. Not to say it's a picture book for toddlers, but it's not a book small kids would read themselves, instead being a wonderful book to be read to them. With elaborate descriptions it's a great tale about the importance of friendship.

    Alright then, these were the books I could scratch off my TBR list, but I added some new ones. Besides a decent IMM loot (post to follow) I also managed to finish all my NetGalley books recently, thus requested some new ones. Apart from being a bit miffed that I was approved for a brand new book only to find out that it had already been archived when I wanted to download it - first it took them two weeks to approve my request and then the book's no longer available, seriously!? - I was able to add two galleys for review: Afterword (Dale Salwak) and What Language Is (John McWhorter).

    November 12, 2011

    Pajama Musings - Wrap it up

    A whole bookstore filled with shrink wrapped books and I swear to God I'm not inside an adult book store! No, really, I'm not!

    Shrink wrap is sometimes used to wrap up books, especially adult-oriented ones and certain comics and manga, mainly to prevent them from being read by minors. Though, most of the time, you'll find books ready to be opened and browsed through without the inconvenience of first digging your nails into the clear plastic to free the book of its protection.

    It's funny, because in these parts (Austria and Germany) you will find almost all Hardcover Editions of books (German language) shrink wrapped in thin clear plastic. I never saw anything like this when I roamed bookshops in the US or the UK, so it must be some kind of regional thing.

    When I was still working at a bookstore many, many years ago (now I'm feeling old, ha) I remember how much I hated those plastic wraps. There would always be one opened book so people could take a look inside, but somehow this never kept people from opening other books by themselves, probably thinking their was a different content in the same book!? I had and still have no clue why people did, and probably still do, this.
    The worst was when we had this big and expensive Anne Geddes tome and at the end of the first week there were five opened volumes. Of course no one wanted to buy those. They wanted new and shrink wrapped books. Can't say I blame them as pretty much all those Anne Geddes books were far from being in pristine condition anymore. Some looked like a tractor had run over them. Twice. One can only hope these folks, of which I'm assuming they like babies, treat their own kids better than they treated those books. Seriously!

    Apart from getting my blood pressure up when I found the sales floor littered with disposed plastic and dozens of needlessly opened books, those plastic wraps also presented a different kind of pain. You could either open them Neanderthal-style, dig your nails in and simply tear, or you could use scissors. In the first case your nails weren't exactly thankful and in the second case you had to be really careful not to damage the book. On second thought, no one wanted to buy the pawed through books anyway.

    Personally, and I hate to admit this, I am really not much better. Of course I'd never rip open books and risk the wrath of bookshop employees, but if I had to choose between buying an opened book or one that's flashing a shiny plastic wrap I'd always take the latter *shrugs*.

    As to the question why Hardcovers here are usually shrink wrapped, I must say I have no idea. I haven't been able to find any explanations other than the most obvious, to protect the book from getting filthy. Personally I don't find it necessary, especially considering all the plastic that needs to be disposed of can't be good for the environment either.

    What are your thoughts on shrink wrapped books? Let me know.

    November 11, 2011

    The Others - Authors of Antiquity

    Ever wondered who's the oldest author in the world? And no, I'm not referring to those writers who managed to get over a 100 years old. Let me take you on a trip down into the past. As far as the 12th century BC, to be exact.

    Homer, the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, is seen as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. When exactly he lived is not certain, just as well there is the question of the historicity of Homer as individual as there is no reliable biographical information available. Homer's poems are generally seen as the culmination of many generations of oral story-telling, and some scholars claim that "Homer" is not the name of a historical poet, but either a fictitious or constructed name, or the name was applied to two individuals who are each responsible for writing the above mentioned works.

    Homer wasn't the only author who lived in Antiquity, that is still known and revered today. Aesop was a Greek writer credited with a number of popular fables, and Sappho was an Ancient Greek poet as well. Leaving Greece towards the East we find Tao Qian, an influential Chinese poet, or back in Europe there was Cicero, Rome's greatest orator and prose stylist. In all cases biographical accounts are either unreliable or rather vague.

    What they all have in common is how their works transcended centuries, having formed language and literature. While it might not be everyone's cup of tea to actually read a book like The Illiad, an epic poem of the Trojan War, it certainly gives insight into the antique writing tradition. While we will never know whether Homer can be seen as the oldest author of all time, he (or they) have certainly paved a way for many authors straight to the present. Not to say I'd mention Homer and Stephen King in the same sentence, but oh look, I guess I just did!

    November 10, 2011

    Picture Garden - A Time To Read

    Everything I need to read a good book.
    Subdued Light.
    Hot tea in a big mug.
    Book ...
    ... oh alright then, eReader.

    November 9, 2011

    Beyond the Shelf - Sprucing up your blog (again)

    Are you a fellow book blogger?
    Here are some ideas to make those sidebars look good ... yes, I'm talking about those ever-present widgets!

    This one's for the writer in all of us!
    Writing Tip of the Day

    And where would we all be without words?
    Word of the Day

    Of course, news about the world of literature and books come in handy too!

    Still haven't got enough of widgets?
    Head on over to Widgetbox where you can find a whole array of bookish widgets, such as The Devil's Dictionary, the Random Multilanguage Word of the Day or the Penguin Classics Book Quote of the Day.

    Granted, we usually stuff the sidebars of our blogs to the max, but featuring a widget or two never hurts! In case you know a great one I didn't mention, feel free to leave a link in the comments to share with other readers.

    November 8, 2011

    Quote Garden - Revise with me

    In writing, you must kill all your darlings.
    William Faulkner

    I love revision. Where else can spilled milk be turned into ice cream?
    Katherine Paterson

    I would write a book, or a short story, at least three times--once to understand it, the second time to improve the prose, and a third to compel it to say what it still must say.
    Somewhere I put it this way: first drafts are for learning what one's fiction wants him to say. Revision works with that knowledge to enlarge and enhance an idea, to reform it. Revision is one of the exquisite pleasures of writing.
    Bernard Malamud

    Nothing quite has reality for me till I write it all down--revising and embellishing as I go. I'm always waiting for things to be over so I can get home and commit them to paper.
    Erica Jong

    Revision means throwing out the boring crap and making what’s left sound natural.
    Laurie Halse Anderson

    Blogger Troubles

    I think Blogger is acting up again, then again, maybe it's just little old me who's having the following problem ...

    When I want to follow a blog through GFC I go through the usual routine of adding the blog through clicking on the GFC widget on the blog I want to follow. Everything looks great though when I check in my blog list (both on the dashboard and in Google Reader) it won't show up. If I manually add the blog - directly on the dashboard - it will show up at first, but will mysteriously disappear from one moment/day to the next.

    If that weren't bad enough, blogs I no longer follow are suddenly reappearing in my blog list!?

    This is beyond weird!

    I tried to tackle this with different browsers and it's the same on all of them. I haven't been changing any settings or adding any new software to my computer either.

    So I'm simply going to blame it on Blogger!

    Anyone else notice this problem? Any advice?

    November 6, 2011

    In My Mailbox (18)

    Can you actually believe it?
    After weeks of going hungry my mailbox got a bit to chew on after all.

    I've won the book Lookalikes (Thomas Meinecke) plus two tickets to the Vienna Book Fair next week by being really fast in answering a question on the Vienna Book Fair Facebook page! Lucky me!!

    For review I received Write-A-Thon (Rochelle Melander) from the author. Not only is it signed, Rochelle also enclosed a fantastic bookmark. The pain is temporary. The book is forever. Gotta love that line!

    And last but not least, my pre-order of Maybe This Time (Jennifer Crusie) rolled in too.

    Thanks to The Story Siren for hosting the IMM meme!

    Books Aplenty - The dry spell is over

    So ... I caved. Then again, I never claimed to be on a book hoarding band, did I?
    Let's just say I couldn't resist a couple of interesting free downloads at Smashwords - Hollowland (Amanda Hocking), Darkhouse, Red Fox and Dead Sky Morning (Karina Halle). See? Only four books. That's not so bad now is it?

    I also did a little bit of reading. Obviously. Starting off with a bit of fiction before dipping into some non fiction in the middle of week to end up with fiction again. Book sandwich.

    Borrowed Saints (Aaron Polson) is a short YA novel about two siblings who move in with their uncle after their parents died. Introduce a small town where ghosts are on the loose after some tragic accidents (or murder) in the past. The idea itself isn't really new and the whole execution feels awfully crude. The shortness of the book doesn't help much either, not to mention the rushed ending.

    If you're easily disgusted you might feel like skipping a book like That's Disgusting (Rachel Herz) though I can assure you this has been a fascinating and informative read in which the author draws on research in psychology and evolutionary biology. Ever wondered why your own spit doesn't bother you, but if someone spits at you you're disgusted? Or how about feeling like you might have to throw up when you see an accident and there's someone lying on the street with a severed limb, yet you're thrilled when someone gets butchered in a horror movie? Well, read the book and find out more!

    No, I'm not participating in NaNoWriMo. Then again, a guide on being capable to write a book in 26 days sounded too good to be ignored. In Write-A-Thon (Rochelle Melander) everyone who ever wanted to write a book but felt discouraged by a million reasons why it might mot be such a good idea after all, will get the boost they need. Lots of advice here, even for those who have already written books, because (and I know first hand what I'm talking about) all writers struggle with their muse and this awful thing called procrastination.

    Completing my book sandwich I then picked up a mystery novel, No Alibi (Jenny Hilborne). Woman finds out her husband is cheating on her and the next thing you know his lover is dead. Shot! And there are quite a handful of suspects. Some small inconsistencies in the plot, yet nice twists on who-dunnit, made this book and overall ok read.

    And I am really happy to present to you an IMM post in a bit. After three weeks of no IMM it's about time too!

    November 5, 2011

    Pajama Musings - Rejected blog post ideas

    Alright, maybe I'm in sort of a blogging slump, but somehow I just couldn't come up with any good ideas for today's feature. Actually that's not quite true. I had a few ideas.

    1. The epic story of flannel and plaid
    After all this feature is called Pajama Musings, which evidently involves pajamas. In flannel. And. Or. Plaid. Let's be honest, its the perfect outfit for the reader who likes to snuggle up in bed.

    2. The potty-trained reader
    Don't look at me like that! There is nothing worse than making yourself comfortable to read a good book and ten minutes later you need to pee. Especially if you've just found the perfect reading position in your bed.

    3. The importance of a good alibi
    Come on, strangling someone who abuses a book - Hello Mr/Ms Spinebreaker! - should be legal!

    4. The constant stalker
    It is ok to stalk your postman, right? He brings you the good stuff aka books, after all.

    5. A foolproof system
    There is a perfect system to make choosing the next book from your TBR a lot easier. No more headaches over picking the one that's right for you. The only problem would be ... I haven't found that system yet.

    6. The idle hand
    Ideas on how to occupy your free hand while you're holding an eReader in the other.

    7. Of banana peels and bookmarks
    Hell, I just make this list up as I go ... though I think there really is a connection! Does that make me weird? That was a rhetorical question.

    8. Lessons in patience
    Trying to let the ideas find you instead of you finding them. Doesn't work though. If I had the patience I might research it, but alas I don't.

    9. The ugly truth about book bloggers
    The truth is always ugly. Unless it isn't. Let me think. What do they say about us anyway?

    10. Rejected blog post ideas
    Technically this shouldn't be on this list as I used it for this blog post. Then again, who cares?

    On second thought ... some of those ideas might actually make brilliant blog posts! Maybe.

    November 4, 2011

    The Others - Johannes Mario Simmel

    I remember him as the author of three novels I truly adored as a kid. Yet Johannes Mario Simmel, a chemist turned journalist, achieved enormous popularity in Germany and Austria with his stories of cold-war intrigue and sociopolitical problems.

    His first big success was It Can’t Always Be Caviar which is a picaresque spy novel set during World War II, later followed by books like Dear Fatherland, set in Berlin shortly after the building of the wall, and And Jimmy Went to the Rainbow, about an assassination in World War II and the current trade in biological weapons. While critics saw an Austrian Heinrich Böll or Günter Grass in the making at the start of Simmel's career, his work drifted too much to popular fiction which made some critics dismiss him as a lightweight. Personally I wouldn't mind being such a lightweight - not if it includes an enormous audience in the German-speaking world, selling about 75 million copies of more than 30 novels worldwide! Many of his books have also been made into movies, some of which I've watched, and all of them with utterly depressing, sad endings.

    While I never read any of his adult novels, I loved the books he wrote for children. Actually he wrote five, though I only know three of them. And, unfortunately, none seems to be available in English translation. It's not quite as bad as far as his adult novels are concerned. A selected few were translated, though if you try to get your hands on a copy, good luck! Simmel's books are still going strong in Austria and Germany though and a few have even been published for Kindle in recent years.

    November 3, 2011

    Picture Garden - All The Leaves Have Fallen

    Autumn leaves are falling 'round us
    Time to gather all those many thoughts
    Of all the things that might have been ...

    November 2, 2011

    Beyond the Shelf - Curiosity Quills

    Recently I saw several shared links by one of my bookish Google+ friends to a website that was totally new to me. Its name? Curiosity Quills.

    And no, it didn't take more than three of these linked articles to pique my curiosity. A click with the mouse and the site was already conveniently bookmarked in my book-section. But what is Curiosity Quills? And what about those articles that made me click that mouse?

    The humble collective of Curiosity Quills is a gaggle of literary marauders with a bone to grind and not enough time for revisions. Creating together, supporting each other, and putting out the best darn tootin' words this side of Google. That's what they claim and trust me, the witty tone doesn't stop there.

    And the articles? The first was Book Review Blogs with Massive Followers, then came Facing the Aliens, and finally Show, Don't Tell: Weak Words to Search For While Editing. What followed was that clicking mouse.

    Presenting a diverse spectrum of everything book-related, from Interviews to Guides & How-To's straight to Literary Works, this website is definitely worth checking out! And ohhh ... don't miss out on Limyaael's Rants, full of advice, warnings, and witty commentary on just about every aspect of constructing a story.

    November 1, 2011

    Random Acts of Kindness - November

    Book Soulmates hosts this wonderful monthly event and after a brief break in participating due to being on vacation I'm back to join the fun this month! Here's to many RAKs for all of us!!

    • Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.
    • Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)
    • Create a wish list and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month. {Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}
    • If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.
    • Please, once you receive a R.A.K., email or tweet {Vanessa} so that she can update the Google doc. There are a lot of requests for this!
    • At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
    Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

    Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
    Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

    My own wishlist can be found at the Book Depository.

    Random Acts of Kindness - My October RAK

    After a brief pause in RAKing I'm back this month and sent out some books to fellow book-aholics.

    Niina from For the Love of Reading received Dark Taste Of Rapture (Gena Showalter).

    And I surprised Lucy from The Secret Life of Books with The Bronze Horseman (Paullina Simons). Of course TBD messed up again and had to send a replacement *sigh* but I hope she'll find it in her mailbox soon.

    As to my own RAK ... I didn't receive anything this month, but maybe I get lucky in November!

    Once again a big THANK YOU to Book Soulmates for hosting the Random Acts of Kindness event!!

    Quote Garden - The Third Person

    I write almost always in the third person, and I don't think the narrator is male or female anyway. They're both, and young and old, and wise and silly, and skeptical and credulous, and innocent and experienced, all at once. Narrators are not even human - they're sprites.
    Philip Pullman

    Consider the difference between the first and third person in poetry [...] It's like the difference between looking at a person and looking through their eyes.
    Diana Abu-Jaber

    It's harder to write in the third person but the advantage is you move around better.
    Ernest Hemingway

    The third person is another pair of eyes. The third person is a presentiment of God ... a way to tell the story. It's a box for the endless music that's there between people, waiting to be played.
    Ali Smith

    Sometimes we enter art to hide within it. It is where we can go to save ourselves, where a third-person voice protects us.
    Michael Ondaatje

    We have a winner ...

    Thanks everyone for participating in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop. Seems like the Twilight Zone didn't tickle everybody's fancy, though a fair number of entrants are obviously fans or have at least watched a few episodes. In the end there weren't all that many who entered the giveaway, at least compared to other hops. However, this made it all the more likely for someone to be picked as the winner!

    Which brings me to the very important announcement of who that winner is ...


    E-mail is on the way and please get back to me within the next 48 hours!

    Did not win this time? Life just ain't fair, I know. Drop by in November when I will participate in the Gratitude Giveaways with a rather unusual kind of bookish prize.