Fox on Books

Book reviews, opinions, musings and ramblings. General bookish excitement!

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Sensational Quote Sunday

Some books change your life. They change the way you see the world. They do this not only with the story as a whole, but sometimes with an idea, a beautiful phrase, or even a word, that resonates with you the way nothing has before.

Sensational Quote Sunday is my way of paying homage to those books that remind me every day why I love reading.

Anyone who reads fantasy, be it adult or YA, owes a huge debt to Tolkien. His words have shaped the writing of thousands, and the lives of millions of readers. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit will always have a special place in my heart.

roadgoes

I had such a hard time deciding which quote to use! In the end, this won, because I remember singing this song as a sixteen year old who’d just fallen in love with Tolkien.

Have you read The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit? Has Tolkien’s writing been a part of your life?

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Clockwork Princess – by Cassandra Clare

clockworkAnd so we come to the end of another trilogy: Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices. This prequel series is set in nineteenth-century London, and chronicles one of the most challenging battles Shadowhunters faced, through the eyes of a handful of remarkable people.

I read Clockwork Princess early this week. Holy beautiful cover, Batman! Here’s what I thought:

SPOILERS SPOILERS ALL THE SPOILERS. Sort of, anyway. Proceed with caution!

Tessa Gray has finally found a place she fits. Or has she? She’s engaged, planning her wedding, and surrounded by people she cares about, and who care about her in turn. But Tessa can’t shake the nagging feeling she should be happier than she is. Some Boys Don’t Know How to Love (But Some Do):

Waiting on Wednesday: Spirit

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted over at Breaking the Spine, looking at upcoming books we bloggers are already obsessing about. This week, I’m Waiting On Spirit, by Brigid Kemmerer. I loved both Storm and Spark, the first two books in Brigid Kemmerer’s Elementals trilogy. Needless to say, I’m pumped for the third, which is due out in May!

spirit “Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust

(Synopsis from Goodreads)

What book/s are you hanging out to read this Wednesday? Link for me in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

top ten

Hosted by the awesome folks at The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme celebrating all things book.

This week, they’re asking what ten books you recommend the most. I LOVE this question! I recommend books all the time – it’s the best part of my job. We often get customers looking for their next book, or trying to find a present for someone. I have to be able to recommend books over a range of genres, and it’s a fabulous opportunity to share books I love with others, passing on the obsession. These are my go-to recommends:

peculiar

The Peculiar is my top pick for 10-15 year olds who enjoy fantasy, both boys and girls. It’s a steampunk faerie tale, and has some of the most glorious language I’ve ever seen, let alone in YA. Absolutely wonderful book.

promise

Promise was the debut crime novel of a former Australian crime reporter, Tony Cavanaugh. Smart, creepy, exciting crime set in Queensland that was good enough to distract me from the real world all day when I couldn’t quite finish it in time before having to go back to work. (The sequel’s stellar, too!)

finalempireBrandon Sanderson is amazing. His magic system in Mistborn is probably the best, most well-established that I’ve come across. And the scope of his storylines is beyond ambitious. The trilogy is complete and infinitely satisfying – this book and this series is a sure thing.

(Actually, I’ll recommend either Mistborn or The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss interchangeably as my never-fail fantasy series. At work we’ll usually have run out of one or the other because I so regularly sell them through, so whichever’s there that day gets my plug!)

This is the old-school cover, the one I have!

I see your Caelena from Throne of Glass and raise you Yelena, from Maria V Snyder’s exceptional YA Fantasy series. She’s one of the original badass heroines, kicking butt and taking names before it was a big deal that she was a woman. This series is phenomenal for YA fantasy fans of all ages, and I keep passing the obsession on.

Rosie

A new favourite, this is one I recommend to customers who like contemporary romance/chick lit but want something a little smarter and more memorable than average. The Rosie Project fits the bill and then some. There are no clichés here, and this book was such a great experience.

stars

Do I even need to explain this one? I recommend it to teens (usually 14+, given the tragic nature of the story) and make a point of telling their parents to read it too. I’ve never come across anyone who hasn’t been deeply affected by how insightful, honest, painful and simply beautiful this one of a kind book is. John Green has delivered an absolute masterpiece with The Fault In Our Stars.

watermelon

Marian Keyes is chick-lit with heart. For women (hey, not stereotyping, just basing it on who I sell this to) who want drama, heartache and for everything to be mostly okay at the end, no-one fits better than Marian. Her grasp of the complexity of human emotions make her novels stand out.

woman

Not only do I recommend this all the time, I’ve bought about five copies for family and friends. Caitlin Moran is hilarious (think Kaz Cooke, Australians!), but also intelligently articulates truths about life as a woman that we don’t necessarily pay enough attention to. The perfect gift for your best friend, or a woman you don’t know all that well but need to find something for. Clever, sarcastic, sassy, and insightful.

wolf

A memoir I recommend to customers looking for something a little different. Scott Johnson‘s dad was a spy, working for the CIA through the Cold War. How this affected Scott, and his relationship with his Dad makes for compelling reading. Added to this, Johnson’s journalistic background is evident – his writing is evocative and often unexpectedly gorgeous.

SabrielNew

I have to have Garth Nix in here! Whenever possible, I’ll introduce someone to my favourite author. Nix’s work is just as good for teens as adults, and I’ve read the Old Kingdom trilogy, starting with Sabriel, more than a few times. Nix’s world-building, characters and inventive magic systems make this a Fantasy/YA Fantasy crossover series that stands the test of time. Unmissable. (Also, I couldn’t be more excited about the forthcoming – 2014 – release of Clariel, the fourth book set in this universe!)

Who are your go-to authors to recommend? I’d love to know what you think of my old reliables!

Sensational Quote Sunday

Some books change your life. They change the way you see the world. They do this not only with the story as a whole, but sometimes with an idea, a beautiful phrase, or even a word, that resonates with you the way nothing has before.

Sensational Quote Sunday is my way of paying homage to those books that remind me every day why I love reading.

It’s no secret that I have mad nerd love for Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles, The Name of the Wind and the Wise Mans’s Fear. They’re fantasy at its finest, and the language is one of the most wonderful things about these books. Here’s just one example:

rothfuss

Have a fantastic reading week!

Divergent – by Veronica Roth

divergentIn Beatrice’s world, after years of bitter fighting, the five factions were developed to prevent further wars. Each faction values certain traits, believing that cultivating a chosen way of thinking will mean there is no more conflict.

In Abnegation, they look not to themselves but to others, and value selflessness above all. The Erudite seek knowledge, hoping that with understanding they may gain wisdom enough to avoid fighting. The Amity are concerned with kindness to others, believing that a kind heart cannot engage with violence. Candour means honesty, even brutal honesty. If you admit everything about yourself, the good and the bad, you are not hiding, and have no reason to fear. But fearlessness is the true domain of the Dauntless, where bravery, or the ability to continue on in spite of fear, is valued most. Bravery also means standing up for those who can’t.

Born into Abnegation, Beatrice has always struggled to find the selflessness that seems to come so naturally to her family. On her Choosing Day, she makes a decision that will affect the rest of her life. If only she knew how much.

Now, the newly named Tris is an initiate of Dauntless. Surviving their brutal initiation will require more than physical and mental training – she will have to contend with other initiates who equate bravery with bullying, and figure out what she’s beginning to feel for one of her instructors, Four. Most importantly, Tris must discover what that word she’s only heard in whispers has to do with her. What is Divergent? Why is it special? Why is is dangerous?

Warning: spoilers after the cut! I Don’t Wanna Be Anything Other Than What I’ve Been Tryin’ To Be Lately:

Waiting on Wednesday: Gameboard of the Gods

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted over at Breaking the Spine, looking at upcoming books we bloggers are already obsessing about. This week, I’m eagerly anticipating Gameboard of the Gods, the first instalment in Richelle Mead’s forthcoming Age of X series for adults. It’s due for release in April… But if I’m very lucky I might be able to get an ARC from work or a friend who’s got an in before that. Fingers crossed!

I’m a fan of Mead’s Vampire Academy series as well as her spin-off series, Bloodlines. I haven’t been as fond of some of the adult paranormal Mead stuff I’ve read, but I’m intrigued by the concept of Gameboard of the Gods. And more Richelle Mead to tide me over until November and the release of Fiery Heart (Bloodlines book #4) can only be a good thing!

gameboard

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

(Synopsis from Goodreads.)

Top Ten Books I HAD To Buy…But Are Still Sitting On My Shelf Unread

top ten

Hosted by the awesome folks as The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme celebrating all things book.

This week we’re looking at those books. You know the ones. They lured you in with a sexy cover, an exciting premise, or an enticing price. And as much as you wanted them, as much as you intended to read them – as much as you still mean to read them – they’re sitting dejectedly on your shelf, untouched.

Top Ten Books I HAD To Buy…But Are Still Sitting On My Shelf Unread

RosieB

Sounds like fabulous YA/dystopia, but although I have two of these on my shelf I’ve never got around to them. I plead slight dystopia weariness, and very easy distractibility!

Dreameaters

Gifted to me by a friend, I have every intention of reading this intriguing book.

Knife (2)

Another series I’ve heard good things about, and interests me a lot. It’ll happen, eventually!

wonder

This has come to me with the highest praise from more than a few people. Goodness only knows why I’ve still not managed to get to it. I keep getting sidetracked by fantasy novels!

special

I really enjoyed the first two books in Westerfield’s Uglies series, and I think he’s one of the best writers in YA Dystopia currently. I’ll get back to his world.

gonegirl

This was one of those novels that everyone raved about. And I just couldn’t get into it. I’ll try again because I hate not being able to appreciate something with such a stellar reputation, but something just wasn’t working for me at the time.

ontheroad

I’ve always planned to read Kerouac, and this has been on my shelf for a few years now. I’m sure I’ll read it right after I finish that YA Fantasy… and that other Fantasy. And that Crime novel. Ahem.

CoKings

Maybe it’s because it’s not as good as Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series (hey, I’m allowed to think that!). Maybe it’s because I hate having all my favourite characters mercilessly killed off. Either way, I couldn’t get into George R R Martin’s second instalment, so, for now at least, that and the rest of the series sit quietly on my shelves. Judging me…

graceling

Another YA Fantasy with a great reputation, that often catches my eye from my shelves. Each time I go “That’s right, I’m totally reading that next!” … And then I accidentally don’t.

earthsea

This series has been beloved for a long time, and I occasionally have people surprised that I haven’t yet read it. It’s ready for me, on the shelf with the rest of these worthy, tragically un-read books. I’m getting to it…

I’m not the only one whose book-buying eyes are bigger than her… well, eyes I guess? I buy so many books (hazard of the day job, yo) and I actually stress about the fact that there are SO MANY BOOKS I want to read, and that there’s never enough time!

Tell me, what are those books you brought home, lovingly, with the best of intentions, and that now sit on your shelves, forlorn, wondering what they did wrong?

Blaze: Or Love In the Time of Supervillians by Laurie Boyle Crompton

blazeI got this book as an e-ARC from Edelweiss, and wolfed it down in a single afternoon. Why? Read on:

Blaze is, despite the unusual name, a pretty normal 17-year old girl. She’s a little shy, interested in boys in theory but a little more like terrified in practise. She’s also really into comic books: specifically, classic Marvel verse, and anything Stan Lee. Blaze spends most of her free time since her Dad left chauffeuring around her little brother Josh and his three best friends, to school and soccer.

At least at soccer there’s Mark, Josh’s really, really cute coach. He’s never noticed Blaze, which is fine with her. She watches soccer practice with her head in a comic or her sketch book, and if she sometimes daydreams about Mark’s great legs or chest, well, she’s only human.

Then, inexplicably, Mark notices Blaze, who can’t believe her luck! She finally has her first boyfriend – right? They went out a couple of times, and there was an unfortunate incident with a ‘helpful’ ‘friend’ called Amanda sending him a half naked picture of Blaze, but Blaze wan’t sure – until Mark made it clear he wasn’t looking for anything more than the *ahem* interactions they’d had in the back of Blaze’s minivan. Go On and Take A Bow:

Dead Girl Sing – by Tony Cavanaugh

dead girl singTony Cavanaugh’s first novel, Promise, came out in early 2012. I’ve been recommending it steadily ever since I devoured it over a 48-hour period. Dark, creepy and very well written, exactly what a good crime novel should be. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to read the follow up:

Darian Richards is no hero. He’s not even a cop any more – he retired a couple of years ago, left the nightmares behind for the serenity of a far North Queensland river view. Well. He’s mostly retired. Last year he caught a killer who needed to be stopped, because no one else could. When one of the girls who got away calls Darian, months later, in tears, saying “Only you can help,” he means to ignore it. He really does. But old habits apparently die hard. If Ida’s in trouble and he can fix it, he’s got to try.

Taut, atmospheric and with exactly the right kind of darkness, Dead Girl Sing was an impressive follow up novel for Cavanaugh. There’ll Be No Rest For These Tired Eyes:

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