Thursday, May 31, 2012

The 2012 Orange Prize For Fiction

Orange Prize Winner
Congratulations to American novelist, Madeline Miller, on winning the Orange Prize for Fiction on Wednesday, May 30th for her novel The Song of Achilles!!!

In an online article published in the The Washington Post titled, American Madeline Miller Wins Orange Prize for Fiction with ‘The Song of Achilles’, the Associated Press wrote the following about Madeline Miller and her novel:
The book retells the story of Patroclus and the legendary warrior Achilles from their first meeting as children to their deaths at the siege of Troy.
Joanna Trollope, who chaired the judging panel, described Miller’s retelling of the ancient Greek myth as “inventive, passionate, uplifting and different” at the awards ceremony in London’s Royal Festival Hall.
Miller — who spent 10 years writing the book while working as a Greek and Latin teacher — said she was “overwhelmed” and “humble” by the 30,000 pound ($46,000) prize.
The Orange Prize for Fiction, according to Wikipedia, "is one of the United Kingdom's most prestigious literary prizes, annually awarded to a female author of any nationality for the best original full-length novel written in English, and published in the United Kingdom in the preceding year."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

I surprisingly enjoyed reading the novel Hatchet, which "is a 1987 three-time Newbery Honor-winning wilderness survival novel written by Gary Paulsen. It is the first novel in the Hatchet series and is followed by four sequels." (Quote is from Wikipedia) 

I use the word "surprisingly", because I'm not usually one to read wilderness survival books, whether they are works of fiction or nonfiction. I am glad that I sought out new reading horizons and read Hatchet as it was worth the time spent reading.

Hatchet is actually the first novel that I've read by Gary Paulsen and his writing style and storytelling are amazing. I was sucked into the storyline from page one. Hatchet is the story of Brian Robeson, a 13 year old boy, who is still reeling from the divorce of his parents and the secret knowledge that the marriage ended due to his mother's extramarital affair. 

At the start of Hatchet, Brian finds himself boarding a Cessna 406 bush plane on his way to spend his summer vacation with his father in northern Canada as Brian's father works at the oil fields in Northern Canada. The pilot of the Cessna has a heart attack on route and Brian is left to make an emergency landing in the Canadian wilderness when the plane runs out of gas. Brian then spends the next 54 to 56 days alone in the Canadian wilderness until he's rescued. 

Hatchet is the tale of Brian's survival and how it changes him forever. The hatchet Brian carries with him throughout this novel is a gift from his mother. It plays a significant role in his survival. Life and how Brian views it after his time spent alone in the Canadian wilderness will never be the same.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Books for Graduates

Do you know someone who is graduating from college or high school in the near future? Books make great graduation gifts. I found the following article titled '12 Great Books For Grads' published on the Huffington Post website. Check the article out for graduation gift ideas!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

San Diego Book Arts National Juried Exhibition

Book Art Photograph from the Del Mar Times
The 4th annual San Diego Book Arts National Juried Exhibition is currently on display at the Geisel Library on the University of California, San Diego campus from May 26 through July 8, 2012.

An article, titled Bound together, the art of books goes on display, was published in the Del Mar Times newspaper and the following is an excerpt from the article about the San Diego Book Arts National Juried Exhibition:
The 57 pieces selected for this show by juror Carolee Campbell (out of 200 entered from 17 states), represent the full range of contemporary American book making. There are examples of fine printing using traditional letterpress techniques with lead type, incorporating limited edition prints, exquisitely bound.
Rarely content to present “just the facts,” humans have been decorating, adorning, and illustrating the book since its inception. The artist’s book is, in a sense, the ultimate expression of this activity, according to Campbell.
I so want to go to the San Diego Book Arts National Juried Exhibition!! I've only seen photographs or video footage of book art, but I've never seen book art, like the one pictured above, in person! How awesome would it be to see book art on display in an actual art exhibit?

Geisel Library at UCSD

For more information about the San Diego Book Arts exhibit at the Geisel Library, please visit the UCSD Libraries website by clicking on the highlighted text.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy 115th Anniversary to Dracula!!!

Dracula Book Cover
Yes, the novel, Dracula, written by Irish writer, Bram Stoker was first published 115 years ago on May 26, 1897! 
Bram Stoker circa 1906

In junior high school, I read Dracula by Bram Stoker and enjoyed reading it immensely. After reading Dracula, I remember being surprised to discover that the novel was different from the Hollywood horror flick starring Bela Lugosi. Of course, now as an adult I realize that movies are not always a perfect reflection/rendition of a book. I enjoyed reading Dracula, the novel, better than its movie versions. In most cases, I usually find that I enjoy the book better than the movie version.

I also enjoy learning new facts about authors and books that I never knew before. For instance, while writing this post, I read the following information about Dracula on Wikipedia:
When it was first published, in 1897, Dracula was not an immediate bestseller, although reviewers were unstinting in their praise. The contemporary Daily Mail ranked Stoker's powers above those of Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe as well as Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights.
Since the publication of Dracula it has been adapted into countless films and plays.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Paperback Alley Used Bookstore

Paperback Alley
Paperback Alley Used Bookstore is one of those bookstores I'd had been driving by for a couple of years. Every time I'd see the Paperback Alley Used Bookstore storefront, I'd tell myself I needed to make time for a visit as bookstores are one of my favorite places to visit.

Well, last Saturday afternoon, I finally made my first visit to Paperback Alley. It's a wonderful bookstore to visit... The interior space of Paperback Alley is a lot larger than one would anticipate looking at it from the outside. Paperback Alley is a bookstore one could easily spend several hours inside of searching for books to read and becoming lost inside the pages of a good read. 

Paperback Alley

I was so wonderfully impressed with the vast selection of book titles to choose from a wide range of genres ... Paperback Alley is truly a book lovers paradise, providing a quaint, cozy, and intimate setting in which to enjoy the pleasure of perusing bookshelves in search of just the right book... Or two, or three or more!

I look forward to many return visits to Paperback Alley as there are several books on my wishlist that I saw on their bookshelves waiting to fill my reading addiction.  

Paperback Alley
Ruda is the name of the lovely lady who operates Paperback Alley. She provides the best customer service and is a delight to converse with during your visit.  Paperback Alley is open Monday through Saturday from  10:30am to 5pm. The phone number to contact Paperback Alley Used Bookstore is (805) 967-1051.

Paperback Alley
I invite you to make a visit to the Paperback Alley Used Bookstore! It's definitely worth the visit. Until my next post, happy reading!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Writing Tips from John Steinbeck

I'm a fan of John Steinbeck's novels and think his writing is wonderful. So, I was pleased to discover an online article by Maria Popova titled Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck. In Popova's article, I read Steinbeck's advice regarding writing. Here's Steinbeck's 6 writing tips:
  1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.

  2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.

  3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.

  4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.

  5. Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.

  6. If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.
I found it fascinating to read the writing advice/tips Steinbeck offered to writers.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How Quickly Can You Speed Read? (Take the Test!)

I recently read an article published on the Huffington Post website titled How Quickly Can You Speed Read? (TEST) and was intrigued by the post because I've always wanted to learn how to speed read ever since college. I've never actually learned how to speed read though. In the article, the following statistics about speed reading were given:
 According to Staples (the producer of the test), 3rd grade students read about 150 words per minute, average adults read about 300 words per minute, and college students read about 450 words per minute.

These numbers pale in comparison to the speediest reader ever, Anne Jones, who has won the World Speed Reading Championship six times! She apparently reads around 4700 words per minute!
Click on the above link to test your speed reading skills! Let us know how you scored on the speed reading test.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Comic Book Dress -- Go Girl Power!!

Earlier this month (on May 5th to be precise) was Free Comic Book Day, which I found to be a fabulous event to celebrate the comic book industry! Who doesn't want to celebrate the superhero in all of us!?!

Then about two weeks ago, I stumbled upon a blog post featuring one woman's talented sewing skills at making a super hero comic book dress! The dress looks very cool. See the dress for yourself at This Superhero Fan Made Her Own Comic Book Dress. Gotta love haute couture with a novel twist. *wink*

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

"When I am dead, I hope it may be said: 'His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.'" Hilaire Belloc

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Speaking of Stories ~~ From Page to Stage!

Tomorrow is my birthday and it's a cause for celebration! 

My hubby and I celebrated my birthday this weekend. One of the things we did to celebrate the occasion was to attend a matinee performance of Speaking of Stories at the Center Stage Theater in downtown Santa Barbara, California this afternoon. 

Speaking of Stories is a phenomenal event to attend. Their mission statement is as follows: 
To promote the appreciation of literature through live theatrical readings and through educational programs, aimed particularly toward at risk youth in our community.

In an era of visual media that depreciates the value of literature and the written word, the theatrical and educational outreach programs of Speaking of Stories enhance the quality of life for citizens in our community. Speaking of Stories, through entertaining theatrical performances, provides South Coast residents with a rare opportunity to enjoy hearing fiction and non-fiction read aloud by stage and film actors. Our Word Up! educational outreach program is unique because it uses the spoken word as a catalyst to encourage personal self-expression and a sense of belonging within a community while improving literacy and self-confidence. This program is geared primarily to at-risk youth in our community. Our workshop instructors provide a non-threatening, entertaining format that not only increases students’ motivation to read literature and remain in school but also the likelihood that they will become productive citizens. Many of our teen and young adult participants have said that Word Up! changed their lives and increased their self-esteem.
There are usually five Speaking of Stories events annually. Each with a different theme. Today's stories fell under the Celebration of Stories categories. 

Here's the list of stories read aloud today, accompanied by the author who wrote the story and the stage and/or movie actor who read the story.

1) "Balthazar's Marvelous Afternoon" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez read by Jeff Mills
2) "The Debutante's Return" by Jay McInerney read by Meredith McMinn

3) "Shakers" by Daniel Orozco read by Joe Spano

4) "The Flowers" by Alice Walker read by Michael Morgan 

We enjoyed all the stories and readings this afternoon. However, my favorite story and reading was of "The Debutante's Return" by Jay McInerney read by Meredith McMinn. The story was sad and humorous at the same time. Plus, I felt that Meredith McMinn did a wonderful reading of "The Debutante's Return". 

My husband's favorite story and reading was of "Shakers" by Daniel Orozco read by Joe Spano, which was my second favorite of the stories/readings this afternoon.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Happy Armed Forces Day!!

Happy Armed Forces Day to all the wonderful men and women serving in the United States military! Many countries around the world celebrate Armed Forces Day on different days throughout the year, but here in the USA, Armed Forces Day falls annually on the third Saturday of May.

I've learned of two interesting organizations that send books to members of the military, Books For Soldiers & Operation Paperback with the help of volunteers.

The Books For Soldiers website wrote the following about their organization:
During the first Gulf War, several of my friends from school were in the reserves and were activated to fight the Iraqis. CNN reported that once the soldiers were deployed, they were faced with massive downtime and were restricted to their base due to the travel limitations set by the Saudi government.
I am a voracious reader and at the beginning of the Gulf War, I had a closet full of paperback books. Books that were not being used. So instead of selling them at the used book store, I packed them up in small care packages and sent them out to all the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen I had addresses for.
Within a few weeks, I ran out of books before I ran out of addresses. Friends and family members began donating their paperback books and in the end, over 1000 books were sent to the Gulf.
After the war, we received many thank-you notes from soldiers who got one of our books. Unless it was time for them to fly back home, mail-call days were one of the most anticipated events of deployment. Regardless of why the military is deployed, the men and women of our armed services are there for us. They deserve our support and if we can make their deployment easier, then all the better.
Currently, BFS is a non-profit corporation, operated as a ministry of the non-denominational, interfaith Order of the Red Grail church in North Carolina. You can download our IRS 501(c)(3) approval letter in PDF format.

The Operation Paperback website wrote the following about their organization:
Operation Paperback is a non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania that collects gently used books nationwide and sends them to American troops deployed overseas. Since 1999, we have shipped over 1.7 million books to locations around the globe. Our service members make sacrifices every day for our country. It takes so little to let them know that we appreciate what they are doing for us. When you donate to Operation Paperback, you will let our troops know that you support them, and you have not forgotten them.
Click on above links to learn more about both Operation Paperback and Books For Soldiers. Please consider joining either organization to support our troops!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Jonah Lehrer lecture at the UCSB's Campbell Hall

Last night, my husband and I had the pleasure of attending an evening lecture at UCSB's Campbell Hall that was part of the UCSB Arts & Lectures Innovation Matters series

Last evening's guest speaker was none other than, Jonah Lehrer, the best-selling author of Imagine: How Creativity Works, How We Decide, and Proust Was a Neuroscientist. Jonah Lehrer is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and Radiolab. Plus, he also writes a column for The Wall Street Journal called the "Head Case".

Jonah Lehrer spent last night speaking about how the creative process works. In essence, he touched upon the themes and topics written about in his current, best-selling, nonfiction book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, which I've yet to read at this time. 

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed learning just how the creative process works, along with the various stories, insights, and quotes that Jonah Lehrer shared throughout the evening's discussion. 

I'd say the lecture given by Jonah Lehrer lasted roughly 45 minutes and was followed by a lengthy audience question and answer session. Audience members asked some really great questions of Jonah Lehrer. I enjoyed hearing his responses to the questions asked by the audience.

Listen to the following interview of Jonah Lehrer on NPR's radio program, All Things Considered, and learn more about how creativity works!! It's an 8 to 9 minute audio clip and well worth listening to. Enjoy!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Book People Unite!!

 Book People Unite!! What's Book People Unite all about?
Were bringing together people who share our love of reading to help us get books in the hands of kids who need them most. The movement recognizes the incredible effect books can have on a childs imagination, sparking ambition, overcoming obstacles and inspiring curious minds.
The pledge!!
If you're a Book Person, tell the world. Books open new worlds and unlock new doors. Take the Book People Unite pledge and declare your belief in the transformative power of books, especially for young minds. Encourage your friends to join the movement too by sharing online and you'll get a download of the full Book People Unite track. We'll also follow up with news on the Book People Unite movement.

I love the idea of promoting literacy and the love of reading in youngsters. Children are our future. Giving them the tools to succeed in life is important.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

"Never read a book through merely because you have begun it." John Witherspoon

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher

Every so often, I enjoy reading nonfiction books that fall into the philosophy genre. I recently finished reading The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher by Julian Baggini

I actually purchased The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher based on the glowing recommendation I'd received from a sales associate at an independent bookstore. The title alone was intriguing enough for me to want to purchase and read this book, but the sales associate's review sealed the deal for me.

Yes, The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher contains 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher to ponder. BUT each experiment is only three pages in length. You're given a brief overview/synopsis of each experiment followed by a brief discussion of the experiment. I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if the author had chosen to focus on 25 experiments instead of 100 and wrote in more detail about each one rather than skimming the surface of each experiment.

Besides, I found that many of the topics in The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher overlapped. This seemed to make some of the topics discussed appear redundant. Perhaps focusing on less topics/experiments would have been a better idea. 

Overall, I felt that The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher was a good book

Monday, May 14, 2012

U Star Novels ~~~ Star in Your Own Classic Novel!

Are you looking for a unique and special gift for yourself or that special book lover in your life? Look no further! U Star Novels, makes personalized classic novels for only $24.95! The U Star Novels website states the following about their product/service:
U Star Classics allows you to step into a personalised edition of your favourite classic book starring you alongside your friends, family members or even work colleagues!

Step into a famous tale of adventure, romance, paranormal or humour! Now you can star in some of the world's greatest first edition personalised classic novels, from Pride and Prejudice, Alice in Wonderland, Romeo & Juliet to Dracula, Frankenstein  and many more coming soon. Become part of these classic books that have thrilled readers for generations. Gifts to be treasured forever!

With U Star Personalised Classics, the plot remains the same, the only thing that changes is that it could be you following the yellow brick road, or your brother hunting vampires in the darkest depths of Transylvania, or your best friend starring in one of the best-loved romances of all time alongside her own Mr Darcy!

It may sound complicated, but getting yourself inside one of the classics is as easy as selecting who out of your friends and family should make up the cast list for your favourite book, entering their details on our online order form and before you know it you’ll receive a uniquely tweaked edition of a literary classic.

You can even write a personal dedication and read the story behind the novel you're about to star in.

Let them walk in Dorothy's ruby slippers or fall down the rabbit hole like Alice with these wonderful personalised classic novels. Even your pet can have a starring role on your journey to Oz.

With several years’ experience in personalising novels, and a print team up-to-date with the latest advances in print-on-demand technology, our personalised Classics seamlessly integrate your personal details and are a produced to an exceptionally high quality.
For further information, visit the U Star Novels website by clicking on the link above!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers of the world that make the world a better, safer place for all of us to live!

I'm blessed to have a wonderful mother myself, with whom I am very close. She's been an exceptional mother and my best friend as well. 

I'm looking forward to sharing some time well spent together this Mother's Day weekend with my mom... There is nothing better than mother/daughter bonding. Have a great Mother's Day!

I am also adding a delightful book title that is appropriate for the Mother's Day holiday. It's a book titled Mothers & Daughters and is a collection of twelve short stories written by well known writers (such as Diana Gabaldon, Faye Kellerman, etc.) and their daughters. 

I was given this book several years ago by my maternal grandmother. We both share a love of reading books and have swapped books with each other over the years. I read Mothers & Daughters around 2006 and I enjoyed reading it immensely! In fact, I gave this book a 10 star rating on Bookcrossing. You may read my review of Mothers & Daughters on Bookcrossing by visiting the following link:

Here's the Amazon Editorial Review of Mothers & Daughters:
Mothers and daughters share a kinship so close that looking at each other is often like gazing into a mirror. Now famous mothers and their daughters merge their imaginations and talents and share the richness of the heart in this extraordinary short-story collection that celebrates the joys of motherhood and family.
Collaborating for the first time with their daughters on works of fiction, twelve of today's most acclaimed female authors have crafted original short stories, punctuated by wit and wisdom, poignancy and humor, exclusively for this volume. Each story is accompanied by a personal introduction and a delightful family snapshot. The result is a heartwarming and intimate look at the powerful bond between mothers and daughters.
Inspired by real-life experiences, these twelve tales reveal the dynamics of family, the bonds of love, and the woman-to-woman heritage passed down from mother to daughter. A diagnosis of illness... the unexpected impact of a lottery win...a family shattered by divorce...the hilarious pitch perfect exchange between teenager and her mom at the mall. Each story rings true, and vividly depicts the complex and enduring relationship between mothers and daughters. Wise and witty, poignant and profound, this unique anthology captures the love between these unforgettable women, whose voices touch our hearts and draw us closer. Mothers & Daughters: Celebrating the Gift of Love in 12 New Stories is a book to be cherished by mothers and daughters alike.
 Sadly, Mothers & Daughters is no longer in print at this time. However, you may find used copies of this book for sale on Amazon's website.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy National Train Day!!

National Train Day is an event that falls each year during the month of May here in the United States.
National Train Day marks the 143rd anniversary of the creation of the nation's first transcontinental railroad. On May 10, 1869, in Promontory Summit, Utah, the 'golden spike' was driven into the final tie that joined 1,776 miles of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways, forever transforming the face and character of America.              
National Train Day is back to celebrate train travel and the ways trains touch the lives of people across America. May 12, 2012, will be the day where train stations and other venues across the country, host activities and exhibits that highlight the past, present and future of trains and travel. Amtrak will host major events in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles with free live entertainment and activities for both children and adults: interactive and educational exhibits, model train displays and tours of Amtrak equipment, and notable private railroad cars - just to name a few!
The 'rail way' comes to life for attendees, as well as those participating online and through social media. Only on a train do we see more of the world around us, and live more of the experiences we have when we discover the 'rail way'. Look out your window. What do you see? Look around the car. Who do you see? It's all part of the journey. Join in the celebration by attending a National Train Day event near you, or submit your photos, videos and stories to the National Train Day Gallery, and enter for a chance to win great prizes.
Let the journey begin!

I hope you'll be taking a train ride somewhere this weekend to celebrate National Train Day on May 12th! I'm taking a ride aboard Amtrak to see my mother this weekend for Mother's Day. Nothing is more exciting than enjoying a relaxing ride on a train. I truly enjoy viewing the scenery pass by before me and of course, reading a book throughout my journey.

Speaking of trains, do you have a favorite book that pertains to trains or features a train within its storyline?

I'm fond of Agatha Christie's mystery novel, Murder on the Orient Express! I've been a fan of Agatha Christie's writing for many years now and enjoyed reading this particular book where murder takes place aboard a train.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lost Horizon Bookstore

Lost Horizon Storefront
I visited the Lost Horizon Bookstore in downtown Santa Barbara last weekend with my husband. This place is small, quaint. charming, a block off the beaten path and my kind of bookstore. The Lost Horizon sells used books. Many of them unique, along with first editions and some copies signed by the author. 

One comes to the Lost Horizon to find unique books and for the ambiance as they have interesting posters and artwork on hand. There is also an interesting wood sculpture hanging from ceiling. The staff is friendly too, which is always a plus. I look forward to making future visits to the Lost Horizon Bookstore.

I ended up purchasing two books during my visit to the Lost Horizon Bookstore. A paperback version of T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, which I purchased for a dollar. I've never even heard of this playful collection of cat poems before and look forward to reading this short collection of feline related poems.

I also bought a hardback edition of Three Apples Fell From Heaven by Natalia Belting and illustrated by Anne Marie Jauss. This book contains several short stories from around the world all pertaining to trees. The illustrations are charming as well. As a side note, this books was originally published in 1953 and is a first edition. It's still in good condition and even has a clear book cover to protect the dust jacket. One interesting tidbit (for me anyway) is that the original price of this book, per the dust jacket, was $2.50! Wow, I wish books were still this inexpensive!!

The Lost Horizon is open for business from 11:00am to 6:00pm, Monday through Saturday. Their telephone number is (805) 962-4606.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

"Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you’ve finished just to stay near it." Markus Zusak

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Orhan Pamuk's The Museum of Innocence

On May 3rd, an article titled Turkish Novelist Unveils New Museum by Ayla Albayrak, was posted on the Wall Street Journal's blog. In the post, Albayrak writes:
Istanbul’s cultural circles have been abuzz in recent days after Turkey’s most famous novelist, Orhan Pamuk, unveiled his latest cultural contribution: a peculiar little museum touted as being the first of its kind.

The Museum of Innocence is the world’s first museum based on a novel; in this case, Mr. Pamuk’s romantic story of the same name published four years ago. The project, he says, revived “the dead artist” inside him.

Turkey’s only Nobel-winning writer and now a professor of literature at Columbia University, Mr. Pamuk is famed as a novelist who has sought to translate Turkey’s complex historical and political debates through his writing. He has won plaudits in the West and a degree of notoriety from Turks for tackling taboo subjects related to his country’s history.

But Mr. Pamuk says the Musuem of Innocence isn’t about him: “It’s about the book.”

“This is not a writer’s home museum. This is a museum of a novel,” Mr. Pamuk told The Wall Street Journal after the museum opened on Friday.
This museum does sound intriguing and very unique! I now want to read both the novel the museum is based on and visit the museum itself some day. Click on the link above for the full story.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

RIP Maurice Sendak ~ June 10, 1928 to May 8, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are. I am sad to hear of Mr. Sendak's passing. What an amazingly gifted and talented person he was!

Although, I'm sad to learn of Mr. Sendak's passing, I enjoyed reading a well written obituary of Maurice Sendak's life by Maurice Sendak dies at 83, author of 'Where the Wild Things Are', the following is written about Mr. Sendak:
Maurice Sendak, the children's book illustrator and author whose unsentimental approach to storytelling revolutionized the genre and whose best-known tale was the dark fantasy "Where the Wild Things Are," has died. He was 83.

Sendak, who also was a set designer for opera and film, died Tuesday at a hospital in Danbury, Conn., his friend and caretaker Lynn Caponera said. He had suffered a stroke on Friday, she said.

He had already been proclaimed "the Picasso of children's books" by Time magazine when, in his 30s, he wrote and illustrated "Where the Wild Things Are." It became one of the 10 bestselling children's books of all time.

10 Beautiful Buildings Inspired by Famous Books

I came across a post on Flavorwire titled 10 Beautiful Buildings Inspired by Famous Books. I'm not sure I agree that all of the buildings mentioned in this post are beautiful, but they sure are interesting examples of architecture. I simply find it amazing that someone was inspired enough to build a real life structure based on it being found in a famous book! Which of the ten buildings do you thing is the most beautiful?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Metro Entertainment Comic Book & Gaming Resource!

Metro Entertainment

Last weekend, I stopped by Metro Entertainment on Free Comic Book Day to pick up free comic books. This was my first visit to Metro Entertainment and I enjoyed the time spent browsing the bookshelves.

Metro Entertainment's website describes its storefront as:
Santa Barbara's PREMIERE Comic Book and Gaming Resource! Owned and operated locally for over 16 years, Metro Entertainment has a wealth of comic books, new and old, as well as trade paperbacks, toys, posters, t-shirts, and much much more!

With a wide variety of games and supplies, Metro Entertainment has the best selection of games in Santa Barbara, ranging from table top role-playing to fantasy and science fiction miniature strategy to collectable trading card games. If it's fun and cool to play, Metro's got it!
I'm not  very knowledgeable when it comes to the comic book, graphic novel and manga genres, but this storefront looks pretty cool inside if you're a fan of all things comics, etc.!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

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

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Free Comic Book Day!!

I recently learned about Free Comic Book Day on Google news. I admit that I haven't read a comic book since childhood, but I know they're as popular as ever with readers around the world.

So, what the heck is Free Comic Book Day anyway?! According to the Free Comic Book Day website, it is a single day event held annually on the first Saturday in May, where "participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE* to anyone who comes into their stores. *Check with your local shop for their participation and rules."

Find a participating retailer by clicking on the link above to learn where you may pick up a free comic book!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Unique Bookmobiles From Around the World!

Here's another great post from Flavorwire titled Incredibly Unique Bookmobiles around the World, which I enjoyed viewing. Which bookmobile was your favorite? I liked the Mobilivre Bookmobile the best myself, as it looked like a cozy, quaint and fun place to visit and spend time browsing the shelves.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hardcover Mysteries Television Series on the Discovery Channel

Has anyone seen the new television series Hardcover Mysteries on the Discovery Channel? I've just recently discovered this series and have watched the first eight episodes. I'm now a fan of Hardcover Mysteries! I'm looking forward to viewing upcoming episodes of the series.

Yes, I know what you're thinking! Why am I talking about a television series when my blog is about all things books? Hardcover Mysteries is a book related topic and one that I thought other avid readers may enjoy too. This new television series is described on the Investigation Discovery website as follows:
Hardcover Mysteries travels inside the minds of America's most popular novelists to explore the crossover from fact to fiction. How much of today's great mystery writing springs from the imagination... and how much of it is ripped from the headlines? In this new series, top fiction crime writers share stories of real-life cases that inspired them to write, or captured their fascination.
I've always wondered about the creative process of fiction crime writers and the episodes of Hardcover Mysteries helps answer some of those burning questions! Check out the link above for more information about the show, watch video clips, view author information, and more.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ten Gorgeous Buildings Made Out of Books!!

I found a post on Flavorwire titled 10 Gorgeous Buildings Made Out of Books and I couldn't agree more with their post as these buildings are nice to look at in my opinion. The funny part is that one of the buildings, the self-sustained book igloo designed by Colombian artist Miler Lagos, was one I blogged about last month.

Which building do you like the most? I found it difficult to select just one, as I liked them all... But, I must admit the book fort in the Trondheim library and the playhouse in the children’s room of the Iowa City Public Library are pretty cool looking. The children must love these structures.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Books Signed By Authors

Do you own any books autographed by the author in your permanent collection? Which autographed books do you cherish the most? How did you obtain the book(s) and what's the special meaning this particular book(s) has to you?

I have several autographed books from various authors. Some of the books I've purchased from author signing events and others from bookstores where an author has recently signed their book.  The following is a short list of some of my most cherished autographed books in my collection.

I have three hardback novels, The Silver Lotus, In the Shadow of the Cypress, and Down to a Soundless Sea, signed by author Thomas Steinbeck, son of Nobel Laureate John Steinbeck, that I have in my permanent collection. I had the opportunity to briefly meet Mr. Steinbeck at two different events that my husband & I attended in Santa Barbara, California. On each occasion, we had Mr. Steinbeck sign a copy of his book. Mr. Steinbeck spent quite a bit of time talking to each person who came to see him, including us. He is a really interesting person and had a lot of great stories to share as well as simply being a delightful person to meet. My husband took a picture of me standing next Thomas Steinbeck, which is really cool!

I also have an autographed copy of Buzz Aldrin's novel Encounter With Tibur. I am not a science fiction genre fan, nor have I read this novel. I merely purchased this book back in 1997, so that I could have Buzz Aldrin autograph his novel for me as he was the second human being to set foot on the moon in 1969. I've tried reading Encounter With Tibur a few times, but I just couldn't get into it. The cool part was meeting Buzz Aldrin briefly at a book signing event and having my picture taken with him.

I have an autographed copy of Diana Gabaldon's novel Lord John and the Private Matter, which I purchased from a bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona called The Poisoned Pen. Unfortunately, I've never had the opportunity to meet Ms. Gabaldon, but hopefully one day I will! My maternal grandmother was the person responsible for me becoming an avid Diana Gabaldon fan as she had read and recommended the Outlander series to me in the late 1990s. Some years ago now, I sent Ms. Gabaldon a letter in the mail to express that I was a huge fan of her novels. In return, she sent me a couple of autographed bookplates, which I've placed inside two other books she has written in the Lord John Series.

Last but not least, I have an autographed copy of Brain and Belief: An Exploration of the Human Soul by John J. McGraw. This book is a work of nonfiction, fabulously well written, and definitely well worth the read if you enjoy books that include such genres as religion, psychology, and neuroscience! I first met John several years ago now through my mom, as he was a neighbor of my parents, and we've been acquainted ever since. John is a really cool person. I'm glad we met.