What we’re looking forward to in September!

September 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

We’ve decided to put together this series of posts to keep you all updated with what’s going on in our little corner of the blogosphere, any bookish news and life generally. Going up on the first of every month (Australian time), keep your calendars handy, people!

itsnotnatalie:

–          Brisbane Writer’s Festival – The Brisbane Writers Festival runs for four days, and is a collection of lectures, workshops and panels featuring prominent writers who will discuss areas of their particular expertise and I am so unbelievably excited to be attending my first BWF!!! I will be breathing the same air as Garth Nix; excuse me while I quietly fangirl in a corner. I’m also very excited to have a more or less willing Kalystia attend the Jane Austen presentation with me (I shall convert her eventually – resistance is futile).

Brisbane Writers Festival 2013

Some of the 2013 BWF art! (Check the Mockingjay – Kalystia)

–          Australian Federal Election – I know, not book related, but I am also a political science major and elections make me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. I shall celebrate election eve by FINALLY finishing Downfall by Aaron Patrick. See, now its book related! You can buy it here for Kindle  or here in paperback.

–          Start the 30 Day Challenge – I’m hoping that this fantastic challenge might spark a bit of friendly debate among you, lovely readers. It is aptly named as a challenge; I’ve read over the questions and I am really struggling to find answers for some (and to be honest, not answer everything with Stardust!).

–          One of my best friends has promised me a book date at a fantastic second hand bookstore in the city and I can’t wait to take him up on it! It may even result in a post series Kalystia and I have been pondering for a while, so watch this space!

–          Start reading some of the Netgalley books on our shelf.  Short, sweet and NEEEEEEW!

–          Picking and starting the next book for itsnotnatalie does neil. Choices, choices.

–          Getting back on track with my reading list.  Even though there is no accountability whatsoever with my reading list, having put it out into cyberspace, I feel a bit slack for having only read HALF of one of the entries. Having said that, I freely acknowledge I will probably be distracted by the first shiny, new book I see in Dymocks. I have no shame.

Book Hoarder

And this is why neither of us can keep on track with our reading lists.

Kalystia:

In September, I’m looking forward to some exciting new releases. I’ve preordered them, and anxiously await their arrival in the mail!

–          The Returned, Jason Mott: I’ve mentioned this one before, and although it’s been posted, I STILL haven’t received it. Can’t wait to read it, though!

–          Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson:  Any new Brandon Sanderson would be enough for me to be bouncing off the walls in anticipation, but a kind of dystopian venture? CANNOT WAIT. September 24, it’s here.

–          Vicious, Victoria Schwab: Everything I’ve read about this seems to indicate that it will be some kind of hybrid of X-men, Flatliners and Lev Grossman’s The Magicians. Yes, I’m probably going to love it. Coming from Tor on Sep 24th!

–          More than This, Patrick Ness: Although I’ve been meaning to, I’ve never got around to the Chaos Walking Trilogy. But I picked up the most beautiful hardback edition of this book the day it was released, and I’m itching to start it. It looks like philosophical post-apoc. Yes, please!

More Than This, Patrick Ness

I’m excited about my introduction to Patrick Ness!

–          The Rook, Daniel O’Malley: An unexpected find from Pulp Fiction. I actually don’t really know what to expect of this, but the recommendations in the front few pages are astronomical. It’s shot to the top of my to-read pile.

 I also have the capacity to get excited about things that are not books. It’s a small capacity, but exists nonetheless. Here are a few other things I’m looking forward to in September:

–          The dystopia lecture at BWF, featuring Scott Westerfield as a panellist

–          Planning a trip to Melbourne in October with my boyfriend. I’m somewhat of a shopaholic, and I’ve never been before, so this is very exciting! Any Melbournites with tips on the best book stores, leave me a comment below!

–          On the topic of the Melbourne trip, I’m already excited to visit the Melbourne zoo and see the gorillas there. I’ve never seen one in real life, and it’s something I’ve always wanted. I’ll probably cry. I can’t wait.

–          I’m also looking forward to reviewing some of the books I’ve read lately, particularly The Bone Season. So many mixed emotions, readers, and I’m looking forward to getting them out of my head and onto the page.

–          Seeing Elysium! I still haven’t seen it, and I’ve been looking forward to it since its teaser trailer.

–          Oh, and I’ve finished The Book Thief. I’ll be needing to discuss this soon. Need to share the feels.

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Top 5 Books We Can’t Wait to Read

August 13, 2013 § 2 Comments

1. Kalystia: The Bone Season – Samantha Shannon

Bone Season Cover

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for literary marketing. When it comes to books, my defences are down and I’ll buy anything that publishers tell me to. Because of this unfortunate tendency of mine, I have wasted money on absolute trash, simply because it’s been hyped up online with a powerful marketing campaign (most recently, The Fifth Wave, which I hated). On the flip-side, though, sometimes a viral campaign will grab me, and I’ll pick up a book worth every word of praise. Angelfall, relentlessly pushed by Goodreads, was one such novel. The Bone Season has been doing the rounds in online campaigning, and the series is touted to rival The Hunger Games, Twilight and even Harry Potter.
So, naturally, I want it.

The Bone Season is about clairvoyants practising outside the law. In a contract mirroring that of J. K. Rowling, young author Samantha Shannon has been signed for a seven book deal with Bloomsbury, with the first three to come out fairly soon. And that is pretty much all I know about this book. It’s on its way to me from England now, so more to come soon!

If you’re as intrigued as I am, watch the surprisingly well-done book trailer here!

2. Itsnotnatalie: Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

enders-game

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Oddly, for a committed Whovian, to the best of my knowledge, I have never, EVER, read a sci-fi book. So for me, Ender’s Game represents the opportunity to dip my toe into the endless sea of this new (to me, at least) genre. I am really excited by the two-fold challenge Ender’s Game presents; first, having to step outside my reading comfort zone and second, I am looking forward to facing the questions that the sci-fi genre will invariably pose for me. 

Side note from Kalystia: I love Ender’s Game, and have high hopes for the upcoming film adaptation! I think Asa will do an excellent job of portraying Ender.

3. Kalystia: The Returned – Jason Mott

This cover reminds me of The Lovely Bones. Hm...

This cover reminds me of The Lovely Bones. Hm…

The Returned opens with the premise that those who have definitely, permanently died have one day simply returned to their families. The Returned show up on their loved ones’ doorsteps, the same age that they were when they died. When I first read about this, I did not hesitate to pre-order. I’ve tried to stop myself from reading anything about it…but I ended up having a few sneaky peeks at some reviews. The Returned is being praised for its moving story, its haunting subject matter and its stark language. This tends to put me in mind of The Road, but I believe The Returned has a more familiar setting than that.
And that’s about all I know about The Returned. It already has me hooked, and I haven’t read a word of it.

4. Itsnotnatalie: The Other Typist – Suzanne Rindell

After the intellectual workout I’m expecting Ender’s to put me through, I think I’ll need a change of pace! I stumbled across The Other Typist in our favourite bookstore, and ever since I have been itching to read it.  Somehow or another, though, other books just keep getting in the way. So this is it, no ifs or buts, it is being read! I have also heard that Keira Knightley has signed on for a film adaptation, my interest is even more piqued.

Kiera Knightley rocking those cheekbones!

Kiera Knightley rocking those cheekbones!

5. The Novelettes want to read The Book Thief – Marcus Zusak

Itsnotnatalie
: I don’t actually know too much about this book. My main attraction to it has been off the back of the movie stills I saw; the casting of Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson (two of my favourite actors) had me bouncing in my chair! Plus, there is the added bonus that The Book Thief is set during World War 2 – and as anyone who knows me can attest, I cannot resist any movie, TV show, book, ANYTHING set in this time. I am particularly excited about the special plan Kalystia and I have planned for this book, so watch this space!

Kalystia: I’ve always felt a bit bad for not having read The Book Thief. I often see this book picked as one of the best books written in recent times, and I know I should have read it long before now. There’s a lot about it that means I will very likely fall in love with it – a snowy, war-time setting, a highly interesting narrator (Death) and a girl who adores reading. It’s a recipe for a book bound for my favourites shelf. With a film adaptation set to hit the screens later this year, I think it’s time I read The Book Thief.

Itsnotnatalie has also had this book on her to-read list for quite some time. So, we’ve decided to do something a little bit special to celebrate the fact that we’ve finally decided to read this book. Stay tuned to see what have in store.

One of the few still released from the upcoming film adaptation of The Book Thief

One of the few still released from the upcoming film adaptation of The Book Thief

Our very extensive TO-READ lists.

August 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

Itsnotnatalie and I have been compiling something a little bit different for you all. We’ve been putting together our (very extensive) to-read lists. Each of us has different favourite genres and authors, and different areas we would like to pursue. That said, we both want to challenge ourselves by incorporating different genres as much as we can! While I has a strong foundation in the basic and contemporary classics (a side-effect of an English lit degree!), I would like to read more contemporary fiction., while at the same time pursuing my favourite genres of dystopia, young adult fiction and fantasy.
Itsnotnatalie, who prefers contemporary fiction and is the living embodiment of Pride and Prejudice, is particularly interested in expanding her catalogue of the classics. She also wants to establish a solid foundation in her beloved fantasy genre, and is planning to start by delving into the works of Neil Gaiman.
We’ve swapped favourites, and are trying the books close to each other’s hearts. Itsnotnatalie is surely a rarity – a law student who has never read John Grisham! I’ve given her a copy of A Time to Kill, a book I hold in very high esteem, and which I hope she loves. I also thought I’d throw her in the deep end with the post-apocalyptic fiction, and have recommended Julianna Baggot’s Pure. I’m interested to see what she thinks of it! For Itsnotnatalie, I will delve into that which I despise – Jane Austen. Having completed a lit degree, I have come to hate Mr Darcy obsessees as much as the general public despises Twi-hards, but I’m prepared to have my mind changed (I think…).
Lastly, we want your input! What’s missing from our lists? What needs to go to the top of the to-read pile? Leave us a comment with your thoughts!

I love vintage books!

I love vintage books!

Kalystia’s TO READ list:

YA

Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo
Every Day – David Leviathan
Skullduggery Pleasant Series – Derek Landy
The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chobsky
An Abundance of Katherines – John Green
Sunshine – Robin McKinley
The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater
The Diviners – Libba Bray
Gameboard of the Gods – Richelle Mead
Name of the Stars – Maureen Johnson
Delerium – Lauren Oliver
Fly By Night – Frances Hardinge
Starglass – Phoebe North

DYSTOPIA and POST-APOCALYPTIC
Peter Heller – The Dog Stars
Lucifer’s Hammer – Larry Niven
Unwind – Neil Shusterman
The Stand – Stephen King
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
Brave New World – Alduous Huxley
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
Boneshaker – Cherie Priest
Blood Red Road – Moira Young
Chaos Walking series – Patrick Ness
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Alas, Bablyon – Pat Frank

HORROR
Heart-shaped Box – Joe Hill
The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova

CLASSICS
Watership Down – Richard Adams
Compete works – Kurt Vonnegut
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Complete Works – Oscar Wilde
The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexander Dumas
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
1984 – George Orwell
I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
Tess of the d’Urbevilles – Thomas Hardy
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
The Scarlett Letter – Nathanial Hawthorne
The Time Machine – H. G. Wells
Selected works – Jane Austen

FICTION
Among Others – Jo Walton
Battle Royale – Koushun Takami
Complete works – Christopher Moore
All that Is – James Salter
The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
John Dies at the End – David Wong
The Little Friend – Donna Tartt
Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
Room – Emma Donohue
Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
The Angel’s Game – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Tampa – Alissa Nutting
The Book Theif – Markus Zusak
Codex – Lev Grossman
No Country for Old Men – Cormac McCarthy
11/22/63 – Stephen King

FANTASY
The Last Unicorn – Peter S. eagle
Darktower Series – Stephen King
The Scar – China Mieville
The Tawny Man Trilogy – Robin Hobb
The Rain Wild Chronicles – Robin Hobb
Soldier Son Trilogy – Robin Hobb
Tigana – Guy Gavriel Kay
The Black Prism – Brent Weeks
Blood Song – Anthony Ryan
The Magician Series – Trudi Canavan
Little, Big – John Crowley
Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell – Suzanna Clarke
Sharps – K J Parker
Good Omens – Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
The Wheel of Time series – Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson)
The Shambling Guide to New York City – Mur Lafferty
A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula K. Le Guin
Dark Side of the Moon – Candace Farrugia
The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch

SCI FI
Speaker for the Dead – Orson Scott Card
Dune – Frank Herbert

UPCOMING RELEASES
The Bone Season – Samantha Shannon
The Returned – Jason Mott
Allegiant – Veronica Roth
Warm Bodies 2 – Isaac Marion
Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive Book 2) – Brandon Sanderson
Sequel to Pure and Fuse – Julianna Baggott
The Magician’s Land – Lev Grossman
Marisha Pessl – New Novel
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
World After (Penryn and the End of Days 2) – Susan Ee

Books, cupcakes and tea. Perfect!

Books, cupcakes and tea. Perfect!

Itsnotnatalie’s TO READ list:
FICTION:

IQ84 – Haruki Murakami
John Dies in the End – David Wong
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
The Road – Cormac McCarthy
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Book Thief –  Markus Zuzak
The Other Typist – Suzanne Rindell
The Kite Runner – Khaleed Hosseni
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenidies
Brokeback Mountain – Annie Prolux
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal – Christopher Moore
The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb
The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
Possession – AS Byatt
If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller – Italo Calvino
Parade’s End – Ford Maddox Ford
Naked Lunch – William S Burroughs
Suite Francaise – Irene Nemirovsky
Fanny Hill – John Cleland
Austerlitz – WG Sebald
Fingersmith – Sarah Waters
Where Angels Fear to Tread – E.M. Foster
The Birds Fall Down – Rebecca West
The Graduate – Charles Webb
The Casual Vacancy – JK Rowling
Special Topics in Calamity Physics – Marisha Pessl

AUSTRALIAN FICTION

The Family Law – Benjamin Law
He Died With a Felafel in His Hand – John Birmingham
Picnic at Hanging Rock – Joan Lindsay
The Happiest Refugee – Anh Do
Schindler’s List – Thomas Keneally
Cloudstreet – Tim Winton
Jasper Jones – Craig Silvey
The Year of Living Dangerously – Christopher J Koch
Cocaine Blues – Kerry Greenwood

CRIME AND THRILLER

Carrie – Stephen Kin
A Time to Kill – John Grisham
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie
ABC Murders – Agatha Christie
Death on the Nile – Agatha Christie
The Postman Always Rings Twice/Mildred Pierce – James M Cain
Fire in the Hole – Elmore Leonard
Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy – John le Carre
Casino Royale – Ian Fleming

CLASSICS

The Forsyte Saga – John Galsworthy
Bleak House – Charles Dickens
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Trial – Franz Kafka
Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
In Search of Lost Time – Marcel Proust
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell
Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Cold Comfort Farm –  Stella Gibbons
On the Road –  Jack Kerouac
Middlemarch –  George Eliot
Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
Vanity Fair –  William Makepeace Thackeray
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Tenant of Wildfell Hall – Anne Bronte
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
The Sorrows of Young Werther – Johann Wolfgang van Goethe
The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe
The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
Les Liasons Dangereuse – Pierre Choderlos des Laclos
The Rainbow – DH Lawrence
Bel Ami – Guy de Maupassant
Gigi – Colette
Camilla – Fanny Burney
A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
Animal Farm – George Orwell

FANTASY and SCI-FI

LOTR Two Towers and Return of the King – JRR Tolkien
Outlander Series – Diana Gabaldon
Gormenghast Series – Mervyn Peake
Complete Works of Terry Pratchett
Complete Works of Neil Gaiman
Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
Dune – Frank Herbert
Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham
Watership Down – Richard Adams
The Magician King – Lev Grossman
Mistborn Trilogy – Brandon Sanderson
The end of A Song of Fire and Ice – George RR Martin
Wheel of Time Series- Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson

POST-APOCALYPTIC and DYSTOPIA

Pure – Julianna Baggot
Red Moon – Benjam

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