Is it me, or is reading the new vogue?

For the Literary Hoarders, it’s no secret that reading is a serious passion. We’ve posted pictures of the books teetering in corners, on bookshelves, or in my house, neatly lined up, but starting to take over the living room wall unit. 🙂

I am a frequent visitor to my public library’s website. I just absolutely need to know..did they release any new ebooks? (Although, I find they are quite slow in this medium…it’s usually only about once a month that this portion of the site is updated with their new titles) and how about new books, audiobooks or DVDs?

Also, is it me, or is the library rocking the titles lately? Each time I check I am amazed at the new, latest, hottest titles are there waiting for me! My To Read List at the public library is tremendous! And it’s incredible to see how closely it matches my To Read List on Goodreads.

Well this morning I checked the ebooks (nope, nothing new, **sigh**) and then looked to see New Titles in Books in the Last 7 Days. Well holy moley, we hit the jackpot there! But….it also seems that others have been swift to check as well! Not only are ALL the latest and greatest showing, they have a growing number of patrons waiting in line to read them as well. Here is just a sampling of the larger numbers of people waiting in line… (now Windsor isn’t an enormous city, so seeing numbers like these posted beside a book is pretty impressive, well at least to me it was).

These titles all have either 10 going up to 18 people placing a hold on them.

The Leftovers

Remember too, that October is the Canadian Public Library Month and I’ll just give a shout out to our Windsor Public Library for keeping this Literary Hoarders needs fed with excellent titles!

It’s good to see that the use of the public library is a continuing and growing thing. It really is where all the cool kids hang out!

And if this were my public library, you wouldn’t be able to keep me away!

(Kansas City, MO)

I’m going to call it a day now…Review: The Night Circus

The circus is coming…

The circus of media attention surrounding this book was certainly amazing. Chapters/Indigo even went out on the highwire to say it was the “Best Book of the Year.” And the hoopla surrounding it, with interviews, and parties, and readings, and circuses being held on October 13th, you certainly would have thought the second coming was upon us.

However, let’s hope that Indigo has a net to catch them, as I just don’t agree. (It probably helped them to sell way more books however.) As well, based on the many reviews in my “circle”, including fellow hoarders Liz and Jackie, it didn’t live up to expectation for them either. And it’s because of all these reviews that have all said the exact same thing, that I’m packing it in, I’m calling it a day, I just have too much on the shelf to continue. I don’t need to read any further, as I’ve been told that the story never meets the expectations in terms of 1.) character development; 2.) what exactly is the Challenge?; 3.) Is it about the Night Circus (beautifully described) or is it about this Challenge?

Now, Morgenstern’s first job is that of an artist/ graphic artist and that is very clearly demonstrated in the desciptions throughout the book. The descriptions of the circus and its acts themselves and the atmosphere inside are quite stunning and indeed, very magical…I personally loved the description of the clock.  The attention to details, even the signage “decorated with flourishes” and “looping white letters on a black background” all show her artistic background. Is it because of this that they are so able to market this piece of as much as they do/have? It gives booksellers and the like much to market doesn’t it, with book readings in a space decorated as though you are in the Night Circus and pictures and origami doves, etc. and people dressed as Reveurs

This is a bookstore in Mississipi that held a reading by Morgenstern and elaborately decorated for the event. (Cool cool looking bookstore though – when you look in to it, not the decor for the Night Circus event).

The descriptions are indeed beautiful, yet they are basic at the same time. Does that make sense to you? Meaning they seem as though they are very standard descriptions, almost plain and common descriptions.  Chapters are also very short, further making it feel very YA. However, I will give her credit for her titles of each chapter as they were as beautiful as her descriptions of the magic acts.

“What had been a heavy wool coat becomes a long piece of black silk that ripples like water over the chair. The flames vanish. Only a few lingering wisps of smoke remain, along with the sharp smell of charred wood that is slowly changing to the comforting scent of a fireplace, tinged with something like cinnamon or clove.” (from Oneiromancy, Concord, Massachusets)

The description is simple and yet you can clearly visualize and even smell that cinnamon or clove and be comforted.

So, sorry to say, but I’m going to close up shop and just abandon it now. I haven’t felt the drive to get to it and have always found something else to distract me from getting back to reading it. It’s just been okay to read, yes, I’ve enjoyed it somewhat, I can honestly say that. It’s just that I’ve read way too many reviews now telling me the ending or the non-ending to care about it any further. I guess it serves me right for buying in to the hype. I should know by now to steer clear of obsessively hyped books.

Review: The Night Circus

Oh! The potential was there! The marketing machine WAS fantastic, the writing AMAZING, lots of quirky characters that were quite lovely but the thing is I just didn’t think anything actually happened in this book!

2 rival magicians each select a child student who will be raised solely to compete in a “challenge” that will take place at an undetermined date and place. Prospero the Entertainer chooses his daughter, Celia, and “the man in the grey suit” chooses an orphan boy with no name (he names himself Marco). You find out soon enough that the Night Circus is the venue and that Celia and Marco are destined for each other! How hard does it get for them when they find out there can only be one survivor? Trouble is, Celia and Marco are hardly the characters you cheer for as you are reading this book! Poppet and Widget were ADORABLE and their adventures with Bailey were so much fun; the contortionist was super mysterious and sexy– she left you begging for more; and Chandresh Christophe Lefevre was like was your favourite quirky, gay uncle and you just wanted to give him a great big hug!

That is not to say it isn’t worth the read—Erin Morgenstern is a master of description! I could see the endless sea of black and white striped tents, smell the caramel in the air, feel the chill of the Ice Garden and hear the circus music playing (this song by Dead Can Dance was playing thru my head the whole time i was reading this book: ). I was definitely transcended to Le Cirque de Reves while reading. But was this enough to make me want to leave home and join the “Reveurs”? Not really. 3 stars.

November’s issue of Chatelaine introduces their Book Club

My November issue of Chatelaine arrived in today’s mail. Chatelaine has recently undergone a major transformation in their magazine, both in look and content. I was delighted to see that this month’s issue rolls out (in a very visually appealing manner) The Chatelaine Book Club. (although I note that if you go online, it appears to have started in August…)

This month’s pick is a great one, one that we’re very excited to since it follows her remarkable debut novel, The Birth House. Yes, November’s pick is The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay!

Chatelaine’s Book of the Month is described as, “Stealing Beauty: a gut-wrenching new novel about lost childhood set in 1870s New York.”

McKay’s inspiration for the book is reported as coming from a portrait of Ami’s great-great-grandmother, Sarah Fonda Mackintosh, hung above the piano in their Indiana home and has enchanted her since she was little. Sarah was one of the first female doctors in New York and specialized in women’s and children’s health. (sounds like inspiration for The Birth House too!)

So Chatelaine’s Book Club provides the chance to read along each month and join online for extras like Editor Chats, Author Q&A’s, Blog postings and Contests (win free fabulous books and more!). A suggestion for the Wink 3 Book Club? Read alongside Chatelaine’s?? What do you think ladies?

Chatelaine includes 4 more pages of books featuring the Man Booker Awards and their 10 fave Man Booker Winners. It also features Editor’s picks and includes the controversial book, Gold Mountain Blues, by Ling Zhang. (The author is in the middle of a growing plagiarism controversy charged by several Canadian authors including Wayson Choy.)

I’m looking forward to participating in Chatelaine’s Book Club each month!