Thursday, March 11, 2010

Friday Quotes

Posted by Simcha 5:10 PM, under | 4 comments

I didn't come across too many memorable quotes this week, so I'm going to share a few older favorites of mine, along with one from one of my favorite TV shows, Psych.

Enjoy! And if you have any good quotes of your own, I'd love to hear them.


Something Rotten
(Jasper Fforde)

"If the real world were a book, it would never find a publisher. Overlong, detailed to the point of distraction-and ultimately, without a major resolution."

Lost in a Good Book (Jasper Fforde)

"I would so hate to be a first-person character! Always on your guard, always having people reading your thoughts! Here we do what we are told but think what we wish. It is a much happier circumstance, believe me!"
(Marianne, from Sense and Sensibilities, expressing sympathy for Jane Eyre)

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Scott Lynch)

  • "You're ten pints of crazy in a one-pint glass"

  • 'This is where you and I are headed.... Look for us in history books and you'll find us in the margins. Look for us in legends and you might just find us celebrated.' (Jean to Locke)

Jingo (Terry Pratchett)

Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)

"You know," said Arthur, "it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."

Ford Prefect: "Why, what did she tell you?"

Arthur: "I don't know, I didn't listen."

Psych. (Conversation between Shawn and the guy who misplaced a vial containing a deadly virus)

Guy: I really, really messed up
Shawn: It’s not your fault
Guy: Oh good....How do you know that?
Shawn: I don’t. But when people say that in movies, things seemed to get fixed, almost magically

Free Cory Doctrow Book if You're 19 or Younger

Posted by Simcha 2:05 PM, under | No comments

Cory Doctrow is known for his unconventional approach to publicity, which generally involves offering free downloads of his books through his website. And so it's no surprise to hear that Doctrow is taking another unusual tack, with the release of his newest YA novel, by offering 200 free review copies of For The Win to anyone 19 and younger.

    In the virtual future, you must organize to survive

    At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual "gold," jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world's poorest countries, where countless "gold farmers," bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

    Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of "General Robotwalla." In Shenzen, heart of China's industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.

    The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power--including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister's people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once--a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.

    Imbued with the same lively, subversive spirit and thrilling storytelling that made LITTLE BROTHER an international sensation, FOR THE WIN is a prophetic and inspiring call-to-arms for a new generation

If you are 19 or younger and would like to review For The Win on your blog, school newspaper, or anywhere else, email Tor at with "FTW" for the subject-line. Also include the name of your blog or school paper. For fun, also share a game you enjoyed recently and why.

Apparently, Doctrow aims to have
For The Win reviewed specifically by the YA audience that he had intended it for, which I think sounds like an excellent idea.

For more information, visit Cory Doctrow's blog Boing Boing

Awesome Giveaway at Extreme Reader

Posted by Simcha 4:52 AM, under | 2 comments

I just came across this really great contest and I just had to share it with you.

Extreme Reader Book Reviews has a large assortment of signed books and various swag to give away, including:

  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth Prize Pack - contents: Signed paperback copy of The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, 1 bookmark featuring hardback cover, 1 bookmark featuring new paperback cover, 1 The Dead-Tossed Waves sticker and 1 The Dead-Tossed Waves bookmark, 1 author business card featuring image of The Dead-Tossed Waves

  • The Pace Prize Pack- contents: Signed paperback copy of The Pace by Shelena Shorts, stuffed koala bear, 'Weston' pin and signed bookmark

  • Ink Exchange Prize Pack- contents: Paperback copy of Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr, Ink Exchange temporary tattoo, "Solitary" court band (bracelet)

  • Wicked Lovely Prize Pack- contents: Paperback copy of Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, "Summer Court" court band and "Winter Court" court band (bracelets)

  • Prophecy Of The Sisters Prize Pack- contents: Signed audiobook of The Prophecy Of The Sisters by Michelle Zink, bookmark
And More.....

This contest is open internationally and ends April 10th.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's Steampunk Week

Posted by Simcha 5:26 PM, under | 8 comments

I just discovered that The Book Smugglers are having a steampunk themed week, over at their blog, where they are focusing on reading and discussing books in this subgenre and offering definitions of steampunk, provided by various bloggers.

I thought this was interesting because I had actually decided to gear my
own reading this week towards steampunk books. Lately it seems that everyone is talking about steampunk, and numerous books of this genre are currently being released, and so I wanted to have an understanding of what exactly steam punk is. I'm also intrigued by the fact that it even has its own line of fashion, for the true steampunk fan, which seem to involve Victorian style clothing, accessorized with gadgets, top hats and goggles.

While I'm not ready to go into full steampunk mode (I don't have a
single Victorian dress in my closet) I do have my pile of books beside me, which should help ease me in. I've already read Gail Carriger's Soulless, which is very light steampunk and a good place for a real beginner to start. Yesterday I started on Lavie Tidhar's new novel, The Bookman, and today I began listening to Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan. I'm also expecting to receive Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest, sometime this week. I think, after I finish all these books, I should have a fair understanding of what steampunk is, at least enough to understand what everyone else is talking about.

Favorite Fictional Character: Robin Hood

Posted by Simcha 3:51 PM, under | 5 comments

Favorite Fictional Character
Hosted by Ryan at Wordsmithonia

A few weeks ago I had mentioned my inexplicable fondness for book
characters that are thieves. From Scott Lynch's Locke Lamora to Matthew Dick's Martin, the OCD burgler, thieves are often particularly interesting characters. And when the thieves are also handsome, witty and charming, that makes them even more appealing. And no one is more handsome, charming and witty then the archetype of thieves...Robin Hood

I loved Robin Hood as a humorous singing bandit (Robin Hood: Men in Tights), a brave and handsome fox (Disney), or the humanly imperfect outlaw that couldn't even shoot a bow (Outlaws of Sherwood). Since the legend of Robin Hood dates back to the 14th century, I'm sure there must be some less flattering portrayals of him as well, but I always think of Robin Hood as a romantic figure who bravely and heroically tweaks the noses of the corrupt while pursuing justice for the oppressed.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett

Posted by Simcha 7:20 AM, under | 6 comments

The problem with reading a really good book is that eventually you have to finish it. You can put off the inevitable for a while by taking frequent breaks or reading very slowly, but ultimately the last page will be reached. Last week I found myself mourning this unfortunate fact after reluctantly completing The Desert Spear, Peter Brett's sequel to The Warded Man.

In The Warded Man, Brett had introduced a world in which demons rise from the ground each night, slaughtering anyone they can catch. And each night the people of the land cower behind the only defenses that they have, specialized wards that the demons are unable to cross. These wards are drawn around houses, farmsteads and cities to prevent the demons from attacking the people within.

But even with the protection of the wards, people still succumb to the demons. And even in a land terrorized by such frightening creatures, there are humans that can be just as monstrous.

Arlen, Leesha and Rojer are three children who have experienced the tragedies that can come from the hands of both humans and demons. Each of them are forced by their experiences to make life altering decisions that will eventually bring the three together in their fight against the demons.

I had started on The Desert Spear without having any idea of what to expect, and I firmly believe that this is the best way to go into it. Therefore, I will refrain from saying too much about the story or the plot, so that you can do the same. I will say though, that The Desert Spear had me tightly in its grasp the whole way through and I had to forcibly stop myself from reading too quickly as I was skipping over words in my eagerness to find out what would happen next.

Most of the characters introduced in The Warded Man are fleshed out even further in the sequel, some in wholly unexpected ways. The darker aspects of The Warded Man, both human and demon, are also examined more closely in The Desert Spear, lending a darker and edgier feel to the book. I was happy that Brett provided more information here about the different types of demons and their relationship to the wards, though I was surprised that no physical descriptions of the wards themselves were given.

On his blog, Peter Brett had commented that he feels The Desert Spear is the best thing he ever wrote. Since I haven't read everything Brett wrote I can't say if I agree or not, but I can say that The Desert Spear is one of the best fantasy books that I have read in a long while, surpassing even The Warded Man.

The Desert Spear is scheduled to be released in April, which gives anyone who has not yet read The Warded Man, plenty of time to do so.

More author responses...

Posted by Simcha 5:25 AM, under | 1 comment

I received a couple more, slightly belated, responses to my question about what authors would do if they saw someone reading their books in public. Since I'm currently reading Lavie Tidhar's The Bookman, and he is one of the few authors that there is some possibility I could actually run into, I was particularly interested in seeing his response.

So I don't know if you still need an answer, but I wouldn't approach anyone reading one of my books. At least, I don't *think* I would... ha! But really, I don't think a writer has much to do with his/her book once it's published - the book does, and should, exist independently from the writer, if that makes sense.

And from Maureen Johnson, who is the only non-speculative fiction author whom I approached, but I love following her on Twitter (because she is so darn funny) and I was curious to see what she would say.

This happened to me once, on the subway. I just stared, sort of like a Manson girl . . . just stared and stared and then the woman got off.

Which is not an AMAZING story. I was just sort of too stunned to do anything.

Thanks Lavie and Maureen for taking the time to answer my question.

To see the rest of the responses that I had received, from authors and readers, visit my "Readers in the Wild" post


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