Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Louis Vuitton Travel Book

In a recent online article titled Take A Colorful Journey With The New Louis Vuitton Travel Book by Blue Carreon, I learned the following information:
Louis Vuitton is always finding ways to make travel not only a leisurely pursuit but a creative and artistic endeavor as well. Only recently, they launched a collection of short stories entitled The Trunk penned by French writers. The stories were unified by the house’s famed and legendary steamer trunks.

Then of course there are the Louis Vuitton City Guides, must-reads for luxury travelers and collectibles for those whose idea of a perfect journey is curling up in an armchair and being transported to places far and wide, exotic and glamorous, one page at a time. There are also the Travel Notebooks, colorful scrapbooks devoted to singular destinations. I remember saving money for the New York edition when I was in college.
Sounds like this could be an interesting set of books to read if you're into luxury travel or are simply a fan of the Louis Vuitton brand!

Monday, April 29, 2013

How to Spot Fake Rare Books!!

I came across a CNBC aticle by Damiel Bukszpan titled How to Spot a Fake: Rare Books. In his article, Bukszpan writes:
According to CNBC "Treasure Detectives" art forgery expert Curtis Dowling, rare books are especially valuable collectors' items. They are also among the most frequently faked, and hardest to detect.
Fakers ply their trade by replicating the same sensations that anyone would perceive when walking into a used bookstore. It's one thing to make a book simply look old and weathered, a feat that can be accomplished with a little paint and an inscription dated back a century and a half. But it's necessary to fool all of the senses, especially touch and smell, to make the experienced collector accept a faked book as the genuine article. 
Click on above link to read the full article and to also watch a two minute video on how to spot a fake rare book.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Free Comic Book Day --- Saturday, May 4, 2013

Save the date for Free Comic Book Day --- Saturday, May 4, 2013!!  

Free Comic Book Day is an annual event that takes place on the first Saturday in May to promote the comic book industry.

Click on the link above to find which comic book titles will be given away for FREE on May 4, 2013!

Also, be sure to search by zip code to find a comic bookstore near you that is giving away free comic books on May 4th.

My hubby & I attended Free Comic Book Day last year at a bookstore in downtown Santa Barbara. We had a blast attending this fun annual event.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Setting Up & Hosting A Virtual Author Visit

Oooo, I love this creative 'do it yourself' idea from author, 
Amy Stewart, on how to host a 'virtual author visit'!!

In the following YouTube video, Author Amy Stewart demonstrates how a 'virtual author visit' via webcam would work.

Wouldn't hosting a 'virtual author visit' be a great idea for
book club/reading group meet ups?

 It'd be a great way for the author to promote their book
Plus, book club/reading group members would be
able to ask the author questions and share their 
thoughts/comments about the book.

I wonder how many authors would be
willing to participate in a 'virtual author visit'?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Save the Date --- Bout of Books Read-A-Thon!

If you're like me then you have a lot of wonderful books waiting to be read! 

So, in an effort to accomplish some serious reading, I'm participating in the Bout of Books 7.0 Read-A-Thon from May 13, 2013 through May 19, 2013! 

So, what is the Bout of Books Read-A-Thon?? Here's more about the Bout of Books Read-A-Thon from their Getting Started section:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Please join me in the Bout of Books Read-A-Thon!

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mathom House Books in San Clemente, California

Mathom House Books Storefront
Mathom House Books is an awesome bookstore filled with new and used books in San Clemente, California! My hubby and I stopped by for a visit to the Mathom House Books storefront on our way down to see my parents for my dad's birthday and it's a fun bookstore to visit!

Mathom House Books is located in a strip mall just off the 5 Freeway, making it easy to find this bookstore. There is also ample free parking located steps away from Mathom House Books

I found staff members to be very friendly and knowledgeable. I'd visit this store regularly, if I lived closer. In addition to the friendly staff, the shelves are filled to the brim with awesome books to read. 

During my visit to Mathom House Books, I also noticed that they had a special promotion. Buy three used books and receive the fourth used book free. I don't know if this is a promotion that is ongoing or if it is a limited time special. If you're an avid reader like me, then receiving a free book is a good thing and would keep me coming in on a regular basis.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy World Book Night 2013!!

I am a Book Giver this year for World Book Night 2013! This is my second year being a Book Giver for World Book Night within my community. 

This year, I passed out twenty free copies of The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros outside a local bookstore this afternoon. 

Today has been a beautiful, sunny, and warm day to be outdoors handing out free books. I couldn't have asked for more perfect weather! I pretty much had all twenty books handed out within approximately 90 minutes.

I hope that the readers who received copies of The House on Mango Street enjoy reading it as much as I did!

Until my next post, happy reading!

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Bay Psalm Book May Fetch $30 Million at Auction!

In a CNN article titled Rare Psalm book may sell for $30 million by Kristen Kiraly, she writes the following:
A rare copy of the first book printed in what is now the United States of America may sell for as much as $30 million when it comes up for auction in November, according to Sotheby's.

Congregational Puritans first published the Bay Psalm Book in 1640 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sotheby's presale estimate for one of 11 remaining copies ranges from $15 million to $30 million.

The last time a Bay Psalm Book appeared at auction was in 1947.
Wow, I wonder if the Bay Psalm Book, will actually fetch $30 million dollars at auction later this year??

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Library Made From Shipping Containers!!

The Amin Library -- Photo Credit dpavilion Architects
The Amin Library in Batu, Indonesia contains 6,000 books and is constructed of eight very colorful, recycled shipping containers!

I actually learned about the Amin Library through the designboom website and discovered the following information about the library's layout:
Each of the colored boxes are attributed to a different function: the blue volume is for entertainment and popular books; the red containers extend out as a canopy over an open-air circular reading terrace, and holds the science and technology books; the yellow is reserved for the women's reading room; the green greets visitors with the main lobby space. the actual built structure provides only the foundation for the containers hoisted upon steel stilts. 
Additionally, the Amin Library even houses a small medical clinic, which is free for those living in the community! How awesome is that?!

Click on the designboom link above to see more photographs of the Amin Library. This library looks so awesome! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Joe Mamma's Coffee in Avila Beach, California

The first weekend of April, my hubby & I took a road trip to Monterey, California to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. 

On our journey northbound we stopped off in Avila Beach to have coffee at Joe Momma's Coffee for two very specific reasons. 

1. My hubby & I enjoy drinking coffee from local coffee houses and we'd heard that Joe Mamma's was a great place to enjoy espresso type beverages... We also heard that Joe Momma's Coffee had an awesome view of the Pacific Ocean, made it an even more worthwhile place to visit as well.

2. I'm a VERY ACTIVE member on Bookcrossing and I'd discovered through the Bookcrossing website that Joe Momma's Coffee was also designated as an Official Bookcrossing Zone... An
Official Bookcrossing Zone is defined by Bookcrossing as follows:

A BookCrossing member, with the permission of the location manager, sets up a box, shelf, corner, etc. to become a centralized location for exchanging books. These zones are "official" because a BookCrosser (or a group of BookCrossers) made a commitment to keep a place stocked with books. If the OBCZ is linked to a business, the "official" also indicates the permission of the manager/owner of the business to have the OBCZ located there.
I love exchanging books with other readers. Prior to our trip to Monterey, I'd finished reading a couple of books and I wanted to leave them at Joe Momma's Coffee for other readers to enjoy. 

So, after enjoying our deliciously well made beverages at Joe Momma's Coffee --- I had a hot mocha, which tasted divine and my hubby thoroughly enjoyed a blended strawberry-lemonade --- I left my two paperback novels on the upper level bookshelf in Joe Momma's Coffee designated for people to exchange books. 

I also searched through the small selection of books sitting on the bookshelf and walked away with a cozy mystery novel to read.

I highly recommend visiting Joe Momma's Coffee should you ever find yourself in Avila Beach, California. Joe Momma's Coffee is located in the heart of Avila Beach's charming tourist area and is easy to find. We enjoyed the ambiance at Joe Momma's Coffee. The fact that Joe Momma's Coffee is located across the street from the beach and offers unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean, only enhanced our experience. The staff members we encountered during our brief visit were warm and friendly

So, smiles all around. We left happy campers!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stanford University English Professor, Adam Johnson, Wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction!

Adam Johnson  (AP Photo)
Congratulations to Adam Johnson for winning the Pulitzer Prize yesterday for his novel The Orphan Master's Son!

In an article titled Stanford professor Adam Johnson wins Pulitzer Prize for the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Azadeh Rongere writes the following:
The Pulitzer committee claimed the book, based in North Korea, to be "an exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart."
Azadeh Rongere also wrote the following in the same article mentioned above:
In an interview at the end of his book, Johnson said, "Much is written about the political, military, and economic aspects of the DPRK, but it was always the personal dimension that interested me. I wondered how families huddled under such repression and how people maintained their identities against the tide of propaganda, and whether lovers, despite the dangers, shared their intimate thoughts. So, from the beginning, my goal in this book was to create a single character that felt fully human to me."
Hardback Edition
Based on the description of The Orphan Master's Son, I'm interested in reading this novel. I find reading books told through a 'personal dimension' to be more engaging to read than from a 'political, military, or economic' perspective.  

Learning about other people's personal life experiences is more captivating, than reading about something that doesn't touch on the human element/personal dimension. People's lives are touched by various factors/life events and it is these life changing events that shape the world around us whether it be for political, military, or economic reasons and so on. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Prodigal Daughter by Jeffery Archer

Abridged Audio Compact Disc
Last month, I enjoyed listening to the abridged audio version of Archer's novel Kane & Abel. I enjoyed listening to Kane & Abel well enough, to purchase and listen to the abridged audio version of The Prodigal Daughter also written by Jeffery Archer, which happens to be the sequel to Kane & Abel.

I wasn't impressed with The Prodigal Daughter. Frankly, it was boring in comparison to Kane & Abel. I didn't like the way in which Lorelei King narrated the The Prodigal DaughterShe just didn't do a good job, in my opinion, of bringing this story to life for me.

Mostly though, I felt that the first half of The Prodigal Daughter was largely the retelling of the events of Kane & Abel. Albeit some of the retelling was told through the eyes of Florentyna Kane, the lead character of The Prodigal Daughter, giving us a sense of her perspective. I simply felt that retelling so much of Kane & Abel, was a disservice to those of us that had already read or listened to the audio version of Kane & Abel. The rest of The Prodigal Daughter was less than captivating and as I already mentioned, VERY BORING!!

Also, the storyline felt disjointed, which may have been largely due to the fact that the audio version of The Prodigal Daughter was abridged.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Celebrate National Library Week --- April 14-20th, 2013

Libraries are a wonderful place to learn new things! So, take the time to celebrate National Library Week --- April 14-20th, 2013 by visiting your local library this week to participate in events that are taking place to celebrate National Library Week! 

One such fun event taking place this week is called National Library Week Book Spine Poetry Contest. So, what's a book spine poem you may be wondering? According to the @ your library website, a book spine poem is defined as follows: "It is a poem composed using the spines of books stacked on one another to create a free verse poem."

To learn more about creating and submitting a book spine poem online, click on the @ your library link above for more details. Book spine poems must be submitted by April 20th.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Stevenson House in Monterey, California

Street View of Stevenson House
Did you know that the famous Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson lived in Monterey, California for three and a half months during 1879?? 

Well, this tidbit of information was news to both me and my husband! 

During our recent visit to Monterey, California, we made a visit to the Stevenson House located on a quiet side street in Monterey. 

The Stevenson House is a two story adobe building originally built in the 1830s and was known as rooming house called the French Hotel, but was later renamed the Stevenson House.

Gardens Behind Stevenson House
The gardens located at the rear of the house are open to the public from 9am to 5pm daily. 

The gardens are exquisite, especially now that Spring has begun and the flowers are in bloom and the birds are out in full swing singing their lovely birdsongs! 

The garden is quiet and peaceful with several benches to sit on. It's a wonderful place to enjoy being in nature. We loved our time spent at the Stevenson House.
Stevenson House and Garden
I would also like to add that the Stevenson House is part of the California Department of Parks & Recreation. The following quoted information about the Stevenson House comes from the California Department of Parks & Recreation website:
This two-story adobe has sheltered families, government officials, artists, writers and fishermen, beginning in the Mexican era. During its time as a rooming house, known as the French Hotel, a young writer, Robert Louis Stevenson, stayed a few months in the autumn of 1879. Poor, in frail health and unknown, Stevenson was cared for by friends while he courted his future wife, Fanny Osbourne. It was in Monterey that Stevenson penned the "Old Pacific Capital." Some say that his setting for the tale "Treasure Island" came from his walks along the Monterey Peninsula. Today, the Stevenson House has been restored with several rooms devoted to "Stevensonia."
I am so glad that I had the chance to visit this wonderful historic landmark and view the rooming house that Robert Louis Stevenson once occupied. I would never have guessed that Stevenson made his home in Monterey, even if it was only for a short period of time.

This is one historical landmark worth the visit should you find yourself visiting Monterey, California.

Friday, April 12, 2013

BookBuyers Bookstore in Monterey, California

I enjoy visiting independent bookstores! While on a recent trip to Monterey, California with my husband last weekend, we had the opportunity to visit a used bookstore called BookBuyers. BookBuyers is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 11am to 7pm. They offer free parking in a parking lot behind their storefront.

I enjoyed this small and charming bookstore with floor to ceiling bookshelves filled to the brim with used books! They offer a large variety of used books in good condition. The staff is helpful and friendly.

BookBuyers will buy both books and audiobooks for cash or trade credit, which is wonderful if you want to sell books you no longer want

During our time spent at BookBuyers, we even enjoyed meeting a very friendly dog named Sugar during our visit. I don't know if Sugar is the store mascot or not, but she was sweet to meet and she would frequently come out from behind the cash register area to greet customers. Gotta love well behaved pets at bookstores.

I found numerous books for sale that were on my wishlist at BookBuyers, but I only purchased a single used book during my visit. I have so many books to read here at home, that I didn't dare add too many more to my already large 'to be read' pile.

If you live in or near Monterey, California or just simply visiting Monterey, then I recommend a visit to BookBuyers Used Bookstore.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur, California

The Library itself
Last weekend, my hubby and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary by spending a long weekend in Monterey, California. We decided to drive up to Monterey from Santa Barbara, so that we could take the scenic Pacific Coast Highway - Route 1 from Carmel on our return drive home along the California coast.

Along the way home, we came upon the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur, California and decided to make a stop. I've never actually read anything by Henry Miller, but am aware of a few of his book titles.

Entrance to the Henry Miller Memorial Library
I actually learned that Henry Miller lived in Big Sur, California and that his friend Emil White was the founder of the Henry Miller Memorial Library! The following quote comes from the Henry Miller Memorial Library website:
The Henry Miller Memorial Library is a non-profit book store and arts center championing the late writer, artist, and Big Sur resident Henry Miller.

Founded in 1981 by Emil White, Miller’s longtime friend, the Library occupies White’s former home.  We are located in Big Sur, 35 miles south of Carmel-by-the-Sea on Highway One.
The Henry Miller Memorial Library is free to the public to visit and is open from 11am to 6pm everyday except Tuesdays. But the Henry Miller Memorial Library is more of a bookstore than a library in my opinion.

I have mixed feelings about our experience at The Henry Miller Memorial Library. Yes, I loved the quaint, rustic setting along with the beautiful grounds and the location of this library. The staff is friendly, helpful, and readily answers questions about the library without being intrusive. 

I also loved that the library itself is located in the former home of one of Henry Miller's friends, Emil White... Emil White's former home is small, rustic, and eclectically decorated with posters, artwork, and books written by Henry Miller and others. 

Plus, live concerts are played at this venue throughout the summer months. You can find out which concerts are playing by checking out the calendar of events on the Henry Miller Memorial Library website by clicking on the link above.

My hubby and I spent about 15 minutes at the Henry Miller Memorial Library and then promptly left. There really wasn't that much to see as the library wasn't really that big, which made our visit disappointing. When an attraction is called a "memorial library", one is expecting to see more than a just bookstore on the premises.
Had it been warmer day outdoors and the staff wasn't busily setting up the stage area for an upcoming event, we might have enjoyed sitting outdoors with a cup of tea on their deck for awhile and being one with nature. But alas, we hit the road.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Twist Of Fate: The Moth Mainstage in Santa Barbara

Last night, my hubby and I saw a performance at UCSB's Campbell titled Twist Of Fate: The Moth in Santa Barbara, a Mainstage performance/event. According to The Moth Mainstage website, The Moth Mainstage is defined as follows:
The Moth Mainstage is our flagship program and features stories by luminaries in the arts and sciences, newsmakers and news breakers, and everyday heroes (and even a few reformed villains!). Each show features five storytellers who develop and shape their stories with The Moth’s directors. After the show, audience members and storytellers continue swapping stories over dinner and drinks. Beyond a mere theatrical experience, The Moth is an ever-growing community where entertainment, enlightenment and festivity merge.

The Moth Mainstage is a staple of the literary and art scenes in New York City and Los Angeles, but also tours throughout the United States and abroad. On the road, favorite storytellers from past Moth shows share the stage with local voices.

Tour partners have included public radio stations, non-profit organizations and international arts festivals.  (We’ve even joined forces with the U.S. State Department to produce a Mainstage in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.)

In essence, The Moth = True stories told live! This is a fun event to attend. We enjoyed the true stories told before a sold out audience and would love to see another Moth Mainstage event again in the future. One of the participants in tonight's The Moth Mainstage was actress, Molly Ringwald!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Quarterly Reading Update

The first quarter of 2013 has come to a close! So how's your year in reading going for you? Have you made and kept your reading goals so far?

I've read the following twelve books this year:

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Ming & I by Tamar Myers

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Butterflies of Grand Canyon by Margaret Erhart

The Diaries of Adam & Eve by Mark Twain

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

Mum's the Word by Kate Collins

Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs

Kane & Abel by Jeffrey Archer

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford by Ron Hansen 

Witness by Karen Hesse 

Slay It With Flowers by Kate Collins 

My goal is to read a total of forty books this year, which is a lot less than the 100+ books I read last year. 

Earlier this year, I shared my reading goals for 2013 in a blog post titled My 2013 Reading Goals! Here's a breakdown of how many books I've read in each of the categories I chose to read from when I made my reading goals earlier this year:

1) I've read 7 of the 10 books that fall into the fiction genre.

2) I've listened to 4 of the 10 books that were registered by other Bookcrossers. 

3) I've read 1 of 10 books that fall into the nonfiction genre. 

4) And lastly, 0 of 10 books have been read in the health, wellness, fitness genre.

I'm looking to see how I do next quarter! Until my next post, happy reading!