Thursday, September 30, 2010

Winner Announced!

While my Pratchett month has technically come to a close, there is never a bad time to read a book by Sir Terry. DEATH was the most favorite character and while I love others, you can't really argue with DEATH, plus he does hold a soft spot for kitties, which warms my heart. But Rincewind came in second with my girl Tiffany coming in third. Without further ado, the winner of the Pratchett book of his/her choice is: Aik! Congrats and I hope you grow to love Discworld as much as I do!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Book Review - Terry Pratchett's I Shall Wear Midnight

I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld Book #38) by Terry Pratchett
Published by: Harper Collins
ARC Provided by Harper Collins
Publication Date: September 28th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages
Challenge: Terry Pratchett, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★
To Buy
Need not want. That's the way of the witch. You are respected and well regarded, but not really liked. Who would like the person who knows all your dirty little secrets and does what needs to be done? There is also a certain amount of fear underneath, because though a witch's job has little to do with magic, there's always the threat of it. Worn to the bone by the needs of the People of the Chalk, Tiffany doesn't have time for sleep, especially when the rough music starts. Mr. Petty has been singled out by the villagers, an abusive man; he has taken things too far this time with his daughter Amber. While Tiffany doesn't necessary support or condemn the villagers and their plan to oust Mr. Petty, she knows one thing, evil though he may be, Mr. Petty doesn't deserve to die and die he will in this environment of fear and hate. She must help him escape. The day after the incident with Mr. Petty, Tiffany is called to the home of the Baron. Once everyone thought that one day she would be the mistress of the manner. But being the two different people didn't mean they were the two right people for each other and Roland is deep in preparations for his wedding to Letitia while his father slips away. Letitia of the typical fairy-tale-princess-looks and the pretty gowns and the jewels, not that Tiffany is jealous or anything. But while Roland is away in the great city of Ankh Morpork, his father, the Baron, finally dies peacefully. But his nurse, a vengeful and hateful woman claims that Tiffany killed him for his wealth. Tiffany, being unable to deal with these absurd accusations leaves to find Roland and break the news to him. Telling Roland doesn't go as she had planned, instead she ends up in prison with her faithful Nac Mac Feegles. But there is one thing to say about prison, it's safe. There in Ankh Morpork she felt the rising fear and hatred she's been feeling for weeks. People are starting to believe the old stories of evil witches and gingerbread cottages, of the cacklers, of the fact "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." But there was a stench of rotting and hatred and a man in black only she could see. A man with holes where his eyes should be. Tiffany soon learns that this Cunning Man must be stopped or soon more hatred, fear and suspicion will spread. Her own life could be in danger as Roland himself turns against her. But she soon learns she has unexpected allies, who, even if they did inadvertently release the Cunning Man, are willing to help watch him burn. Because if he doesn't, everyone else will.

Tiffany has grown up. She has seen the best and the worst of mankind and she takes care of them all. Just because a person appears beyond redemption doesn't mean they aren't worth fighting for, that way leads cackling. She takes everyone's pain away and leaves no comfort for herself. This is a far darker and more disturbing tale of Discworld then has been seen in the annals of Tiffany Aching. But then, the Cunning man is one of the most terrifying villains seen yet. Sure she kissed the Winter away and walked in the lands of fairies and DEATH, but those creatures were more creatures of myth and fairy tale than a man who through his own hatred and his own dark past is able to corrupt and despoil those who come in contact with him, though he is long dead. While it was bittersweet reading this book, in that it is the end of Tiffany's story, I couldn't help feeling a sense of completion. It's rare that a book ends on just the right note, but Pratchett has succeeded perfectly, the right note which is a bite of a susurration. While I was sad not to see more of the other witches, I think it was key that the final tale was Tiffany's and Tiffany's alone. We have passing vignettes of favorite characters, but in the end it's only Tiffany and her actions that matter. Actions both past, present and future. The Cunning Man brings out the worst of humanity; he preys on man's treatment of man and their fear of the unknown. The evils of the past are bound to repeat, there will always be witch hunts, even if they aren't literally so. But the genius of Pratchett is that he has taken the concept of the wicked witch, turned it on its head and made us see that these women of fairy tale who are feared are the ones who have it right. You must care for them that can't. You don't burn down old ladies' houses and kill their cats, you don't run people out of town, you show kindness, even if it must be said in a stern tone of voice. If we were all to act as the witches did, if we were to learn not to repeat the past and practice a little kindness, the world might be a better place, and that is indeed great magic.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Guild Season 4 Episode 10: Hostile Takeovers

<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&from=video_hub_the-guild&fg=video_hub_the-guild&vid=bc83c4e0-f9e4-49ca-a66e-6c3ce4c5753f" target="_new" title="Season 4 - Episode 11 - Hostile Takeovers">Video: Season 4 - Episode 11 - Hostile Takeovers</a>

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tuesday Tomorrow

I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld Book #38) by Terry Pratchett
Published by: Harper Collins
Publication Date: September 28th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"It starts with whispers.

Then someone picks up a stone.

Finally, the fires begin.

When people turn on witches, the innocents suffer. . . .

Tiffany Aching has spent years studying with senior witches, and now she is on her own. As the witch of the Chalk, she performs the bits of witchcraft that aren’t sparkly, aren’t fun, don’t involve any kind of wand, and that people seldom ever hear about: She does the unglamorous work of caring for the needy.

But someone—or something—is igniting fear, inculcating dark thoughts and angry murmurs against witches. Aided by her tiny blue allies, the Wee Free Men, Tiffany must find the source of this unrest and defeat the evil at its root—before it takes her life. Because if Tiffany falls, the whole Chalk falls with her.

Chilling drama combines with laughout-loud humor and searing insight as beloved and bestselling author Terry Pratchett tells the high-stakes story of a young witch who stands in the gap between good and evil."

This month has been about... let me see... oh yes, THIS BOOK! You need it. You want it! Go buy it now!

Naked Heat by Richard Castle
Published by: Hyperion
Publication Date: September 28th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook are together again in Richard Castle's thrilling follow-up to his New York Times bestseller, Heat Wave.

When New York's most vicious gossip columnist, Cassidy Towne, is found dead, Heat uncovers a gallery of high profile suspects, all with compelling motives for killing the most feared muckraker in Manhattan.

Heat's murder investigation is complicated by her surprise reunion with superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook. In the wake of their recent breakup, Nikki would rather not deal with their raw emotional baggage. But the handsome, wise-cracking Pulitzer Prize-winning writer's personal involvement in the case forces her to team up with Rook anyway. The residue of their unresolved romantic conflict and crackling sexual tension fills the air as Heat and Rook embark on a search for a killer among celebrities and mobsters, singers and hookers, pro athletes and shamed politicians.

This new, explosive case brings on the heat in the glittery world of secrets, cover-ups, and scandals."

I love Castle. I love Nathan Fillion. I love the blurring of fiction and reality!

The House on Durrow Street by Galen Beckett
Published by: Spectra
Publication Date: September 28th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 704 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"“A charming and mannered fantasy confection with a darker core of gothic romance” is how New York Times bestselling author Robin Hobb described Galen Beckett’s marvelous series opener, The Magicians and Mrs. Quent. Now Beckett returns to this world of dazzling magick and refined manners, where one extraordinary woman’s choice will put the fate of a nation—and all she cherishes—into precarious balance.

Her courage saved the country of Altania and earned the love of a hero of the realm. Now sensible Ivy Quent wants only to turn her father’s sprawling, mysterious house into a proper home. But soon she is swept into fashionable society’s highest circles of power—a world that is vital to her family’s future but replete with perilous temptations.

Yet far greater danger lies beyond the city’s glittering ballrooms—and Ivy must race to unlock the secrets that lie within the old house on Durrow Street before outlaw magicians and an ancient ravening force plunge Altania into darkness forever."

I have heard such great things about The Magician and Mrs. Quint, I hope this sequel is just as good, cause I love a good series as much as everyone out there!


Sphinx's Queen by Esther Friesner
Published by: Random House
Publication Date: September 28th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"Ancient Egypt springs to life in this enthralling sequel to Sphinx’s Princess. As she did in Nobody’s Princess and Nobody’s Prize, author Esther Friesner offers readers a fresh look at an iconic figure, blending historical fiction and mythology in a heady concoction.

Hunted . . . Overnight, every aspect of Nefertiti’s life has changed. She is no longer living at the royal palace as the intended bride of the crown prince. Instead, she is being chased by the prince and his soldiers for a crime she did not commit.

Hidden . . . Traveling with two of her dearest friends, including the crown prince’s brother, who helped her escape, Nefertiti takes shelter in the wild hills along the Nile’s west bank. She must rely on her own resourcefulness and skills (all those secret archery lessons prove very useful) as the fugitives fight to survive.

Haunted . . . But the need for justice gnaws at Nefertiti. She is determined to plead her case to the Pharaoh and set things right. As she begins to question long-held sacred beliefs—a questioning that could alter the fabric of Egyptian society—her extraordinary journey from commoner to royalty brings adventure, intrigue, and romance."

Egypt! Egypt! Egypt!

Torment by Lauren Kate
Published by: Delacorte
Publication Date: September 28th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 464 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Hell on earth.

That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.

It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts—immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something—something dangerous.

What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies. "
Pretty! I want it!

Bespelling Jane by Colleen Gleason, Susan Krinard and Janet Mullany
Published by: HQN
Publication Date: September 28th, 2010
Format: Paperback, 384 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Four romance novellas put a paranormal gloss on elements from Austen's work. Bestseller Balogh (A Precious Jewel) turns in the plodding "Almost Persuaded," wherein Jane Everett and Capt. Robert Mitford realize they're reincarnated soul mates. Gleason makes reference to her Gardella Vampire series with "Northanger Castle," in which pert Caroline Merrill, lover of vampire novels, suspects handsome Mr. Blanchard of being a bloodsucker. Krinard (Bride of the Wolf) sets "Blood and Prejudice" in New York where bookstore staffer Elizabeth Bennet encounters pharmaceutical CEO Charles Bingley and an unusual variety of vampires. Mullany (Jane and the Damned) gives us a witchy Emma Woodhouse running a dating service for Washington D.C.'s supernaturals in "Little to Hex Her." Though none show Austen's gift with character, humor, or irony, all but Balogh's are lively, and Mullany's sparkles with genuine wit."

Ever since Colleen Gleason mentioned this on her blog about a year or so ago I have been dying for it to come out!

Masques by Patricia Briggs
Published by: Ace
Publication Date: September 28th, 2010
Format: Paperback, 320 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"After an upbringing of proper behavior and oppressive expectations, Aralorn fled her noble birthright for a life of adventure as a mercenary spy. Her latest mission involves spying on the increasingly powerful sorcerer Geoffrey ae'Magi. But in a war against an enemy armed with the powers of illusion, how do you know who the true enemy is-or where he will strike next?"

Yeah more Patricia Briggs!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Review - Terry Pratchett's Wintersmith

Wintersmith (Discworld Book #35) by Terry Pratchett
Published by: Harper Teen
Publication Date: 2006
Format: Paperback, 450 Pages
Challenge: Terry Pratchett, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★
To Buy
Tiffany has been assigned to Miss Treason. After the oddity that is Miss Level, with her two bodies, one person, a blind witch who will use your eyes to see and is into all the trappings of what a witch should appear to be, Tiffany doesn't have too many issues. Issues that drove every other young witch ever to leave Miss Treason, sometimes before the first night was out. But Tiffany understands Miss Treason. The crone with the skulls and the clock that is her own heart, plus the profusion of cobwebs, they all seem to be feeding into the mysticism of witches. They are in fact, pure Boffo! Miss Treason, at the young age of 113, knows that what sells a witch is the stories that have formed around her, and she's worked damn hard to make up some good ones! To the villagers she tends it's pride, my witch is witchier than your witch. So when Miss Treason tells Tiffany that she will be dead soon, after all, 113 is getting up there, the opening of her steading becomes a hotly debated issue among all the witches. Despite Tiffany's young age, she knows the area, and all the other witches think this will lead to Granny Weatherwax bestowing her vote on Tiffany... but of course, Annagramma is the senior witch, so it should go to her. What better way for Granny Weatherwax to prove her point of Tiffany's suitability than by letting Annagramma take over and fail, or rely heavily on Tiffany and the other young witches. But the dispute of a witch's steading is not that important to Tiffany at the moment. One night in the woods she did something beyond foolish and stupid. She went with Miss Treason to watch a dance, because it had to be witnessed. The key is witnessed, not participated in. The Dark Morris is the dance of winter. It lacks the bells and good cheer that bring about summer. As it rightly should, this dance brings about the cold and the snow. The Wintersmith dances while there is a hole for the lady of summer, a hole that Tiffany thinks she'd fit quite nicely into... well actually, she didn't think, she just leaped and spun and danced. Summer and winter never meet, but Tiffany has disrupted this. The Wintersmith thinks that he has found his lady walking above the frozen ground. The Discworld itself starts to think the same as her tread on the earth brings forth new growth, as she's able to see other gods and goddesses, and she gets a very nice cornucopia, which can at least feed everyone while the winter goes on without end. Because the Wintersmith has decided to show Tiffany that not only is he all powerful, but that he can be the man for her... with iron enough to make a man. But if Tiffany cannot defeat the Wintersmith and end eternal snow, that just happens to have snow flakes that resemble her, people are going to die, through cold or starvation, and as for the little lambs down on the chalk, they don't stand a chance. With the help of the Nac Mac Feegle and the Baron's son, Roland, hopefully Spring will return.

Tiffany is growing up. Besides her responsibilities as a witch, which do tend to age one rather fast, she is getting into uncharted territory, mainly boys. Now while many witches retain the "Miss" their whole life, it's not a hard a fast rule. Look at Nanny Ogg, she has had, what, three husbands so far. Coupled with the fact this Wintersmith doesn't know what it's like to be human, let alone a boyish swain, and things get complicated fast. When infatuation brings about blizzards and death, it's a hard row to hoe. And there won't be another harvest ever again if the Withersmith has his way. The Nac Mac Feegle, in their direct and logical way, realize that a hero is needed, someone close to Tiffany's heart. There really is only one choice, Roland. Tiffany and him have always had a connection because of their differences to all others. So what's a little epic myth making thrown in when Roland must go down to the underworld to retrieve Summer. But to me, it's not this teenage angst that is the thread that holds this story together, but the thread of story weaving itself. More than the previous books I love that this story centers on what makes something worthy of myth and legend. It's not how you are, but the legends and lore you weave about yourself. You create your perception of yourself, and it's this that people latch onto. A witch must be a hag, with skulls and cobwebs, if not, she's not much of a witch is she? To prove your love you must battle through the underworld like Orpheus in search of Eurydice. You must make the leap and do that which is epic. Gather enough iron to make a man. You must kiss the winter and bring forth the sun. If at the same time you're able to cheat DEATH and annoy him a little, that's all the better.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Book Review - Terry Pratchett's A Hat Full of Sky

A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld Book #32) by Terry Pratchett
Published by: Doubleday
Publication Date: 2004
Format: Hardcover, 349 Pages
Challenge: Terry Pratchett, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★
To Buy(different edition than one reviewed)

Tiffany is leaving her beloved chalk behind. She is off to the mountains to learn the witching. Little does she know, she does not travel alone. There is a dangerous creature following her. The Hiver senses her great power and is drawn inexorably closer. The Feegles are also drawn inexorably closer, but just cause they like watching out for their hag. She has been placed in the house of  Miss Level, both of her, with her OCD ghost. Tiffany has never been away from home and soon the longing for familiar surroundings is almost overwhelming. But soon the local "coven" extends her an invitation. If a bunch of young witches being bossed around by one of their own, Annagramma, could be considered a coven and not just a gathering for say Annagramma to exert control. But Tiffany is not really made welcome, and soon she is questioning why she wanted to be a witch, after all there's not much magic, and a lot of helping the poor, sick and elderly, and no one could see her invisible hat that was given to her by Granny Weatherwax. In fact, her belief was all that made the hat exist, and once that is gone The Hiver has it's invitation. Through the centuries, inhabiting the strongest, the most powerful, the Hiver has used up their lives and discarded their husks behind in a wake of evil. Tiffany is his newest shell. A wonderful, powerful flesh casing. The Hiver tortures and torments those around Tiffany, with only the littlest bit of Tiffany still remaining to watch on in horror, especially during those broomstick rides, Tiffany has never been a fan of heights, or as they should be rightly called, depths. But, as luck would have it, she's able to gain control of her body again and cast the Hiver out. But that only solves the immediate problem. The Hiver is not in Tiffany, which means where has the Hiver gone? How can Tiffany defeat the undefeatable? Can she fight this creature unto the domains of death himself and gain back her faith in herself with all the witches watching and wondering? But the final question is, what does the Hiver want?

This book is the book that made me irrevocably love Tiffany Aching and Terry Pratchett when I first read it. While on one level it is about growing up and not fitting in all while trying to find your calling in life. With the girls in their little exclusive club not looking favorably on the newcomer with a talent for making cheese. There is so much more. The witches in Discworld, while capable of the magics, show that having power and using it are two different things. The greatest power is caring and nurturing and seeing to them that can't. A witch is someone who sees the greater picture and knows that caring for your fellow man is the most powerful magic of all. But Pratchett has this knack, this amazing ability to balance these weightier issues with sheer comic genius. The Feegles are one of the best literary characters around. They have fierce loyalty in Tiffany all in the face of their busy schedule of the fighting and the drinking. But a peculiarity of theirs is that they have a fear of the written word, mainly because if their names are written down it's on a summons to appear in court. But the Feegles are willing to learn, if they are forced to. So begins the feegles sojourn with the alphabet. Rob Anybody views his battle with words as such, a battle. When he overcomes each letter, it's a major victory deserving of high fives all around. Leave it to Pratchett to take the struggle of illiteracy, the thing that is the bane and nightmare of every writer, and make it into the funniest scenes in his book. Because when battling with life and death, a good combat with the letter 'R' can surely lighten the tone of the book. A book like this can be read on so many levels, you really do need to open your eyes and then open them again.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Guild Season 4 Episode 9: Festival of the Sea

<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&from=video_hub_the-guild&fg=video_hub_the-guild&vid=84a5514c-2825-4ea9-865d-5212466f48ae" target="_new" title="Season 4 - Episode 10 - Festival of the Sea">Video: Season 4 - Episode 10 - Festival of the Sea</a>

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tuesday Tomorrow

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Published by: Dial Press
Publication Date: September 21st, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 432 Pages
 To Buy
The official patter:
"Sophie Kinsella has dazzled readers with her irresistible Shopaholic novels—sensational international bestsellers that have garnered millions of devoted fans and catapulted her into the first rank of contemporary storytellers. Now her beloved heroine Becky Brandon (nĂ©e Bloomwood) returns in a hilarious tale of married life, toddlerhood, and the perils of trying to give a fabulous surprise party—on a budget!

Becky Brandon thought motherhood would be a breeze and that having a daughter was a dream come true: a shopping friend for life! But it’s trickier than she thought. Two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping.

Minnie creates havoc everywhere she goes, from Harrods to her own christening. Her favorite word is “Mine!” and she’s even trying to get into eBay! On top of everything else, Becky and Luke are still living with her parents (the deal on house #4 has fallen through), when suddenly there’s a huge financial crisis.

With people having to “cut back,” Becky decides to throw a surprise party for Luke to cheer everyone up. But when costs start to spiral out of control, she must decide whether to accept help from an unexpected source—and therefore run the risk of hurting the person she loves.

Will Becky be able to pull off the celebration of the year? Will she and Luke ever find a home of their own? Will Minnie ever learn to behave? And . . . most important . . . will Becky’s secret wishes ever come true?"

Dear lord, please end this series. It's been horrid after the first few. Becky never learns and she's getting close to being the number one fictional character I'd like to slap upside the head.

The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: September 21st, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 496 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"When a marauder destroys the underground sanctuary that Eva Nine was raised in by the robot Muthr, the twelve-year-year-old girl is forced to flee aboveground. Eva Nine is searching for anyone else like her, for she knows that other humans exist, because of an item she treasures—a scrap of cardboard on which is depicted a young girl, an adult, and a robot, with the strange word, “WondLa.” Tony DiTerlizzi honors traditional children’s literature in this totally original space age adventure: one that is as complex as an alien planet, but as simple as a child’s wish for a place to belong.
Breathtaking two-color illustrations throughout reveal another dimension of Tony DiTerlizzi’s vision, and, for those readers with a webcam, the book also features Augmented Reality in several places, revealing additional information about Eva Nine’s world."

Just from the ARC I have, this is the MUST book of the fall, the art is beyond belief and done in a really cool duo tone like the original Wizard of Oz book was.

Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: September 21st, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 432 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?"

Come on! It's zombies, it's unicorns. The title alone makes you have to buy it!

Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie
Published by: It Books
Publication Date: September 21st, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"Sleek. Chic. Notoriously guarded. Welcome to the secret world of Gabrielle Chanel.

The story of Chanel begins with an abandoned child, as lost as a girl in a dark fairy tale. Unveiling remarkable new details about Gabrielle Chanel's early years in a convent orphanage, and her flight into unconventional adulthood, Justine Picardie explores what lies beneath the glossy surface of a mythic fashion icon.
Throwing new light on her passionate and turbulent relationships, this beautifully constructed portrait gives a fresh and penetrating look at how Coco Chanel made herself into her own most powerful creation. An authoritative account, based on personal observations and interviews with Chanel's last surviving friends, employees, and relatives, it also unravels her coded language and symbols, and traces the influence of her formative years on her legendary style.

Feared and revered by the rest of the fashion industry, Coco Chanel died in 1971 at the age of eighty-seven. But her legacy lives on. Drawing upon her unprecedented access to the Chanel archive, Justine Picardie brings Gabrielle Chanel out of hiding and uncovers the consequences of what Chanel covered up, unpicking the seams between truth and myth in a story that reveals the true heart of fashion."

Ever since I read Picardie's first book Daphne, I've been wanting to read more by her, even if her first book left me dissatisfied, I can see she's going somewhere.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Review - Terry Pratchett's The Wee Free Men

The Wee Free Men (Discworld Book #30) by Terry Pratchett
Published by: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 2003
Format: Hardcover, 264 Pages
Challenge: Terry Pratchett, Fantasy,1st in Series
Rating: ★★★★
To Buy
Tiffany Aching has grown up on the chalk surrounded by sheep. She's never quite trusted the fairy stories that show the princesses as blond and blue eyed and the witches as all being evil and likely to entice you into a candy covered cottage. First off, being a brunette, she's not exactly princess material, secondly, ever since the day a harmless little old lady was killed because she was suspected of being a witch, Tiffany decided she'd grow up to be a witch and prove those fairy tales wrong. Because if her grandmother was still alive she would have protected the little old lady, because them that can has to stand up to them that can't. The thing is, nobody told Tiffany that witches aren't bred on the chalk, it's not proper steading. But it seems that, despite what other witches think, the chalk views Tiffany as a witch. After an encounter with a rather nasty water sprite, wherein Tiffany uses her brother Wentworth as bait, she has gotten the attention of the local critters, in particular the Nac Mac Feegle, a fierce little blue warrior clan with bemusing accents, little being the operative word as they're only six inches high. When Tiffany's little brother disappears, just as the baron's son did a few years earlier, all signs point to mystical mischief. With the help of the Nac Mac Feegle she learns from their ruler, the Kelda, that the Queen of the Fairies has taken Wentworth, as she took the baron's son before. The Queen lives in a land of cold and nightmares, a land where the Feegles are no longer welcome, they caused a bit too much mischief. And the Queen sense a weakness in the chalk and decides perhaps it's time to strike. The Kelda on her deathbed appoints Tiffany the clan's new Kelda so she will have unswerving loyalty in the fight to rescue her brother and save this world from that of fairy. Armed with a frying pan and a posse of little blue men they set forward into the land of snow. Where nightmares become manifest, where paintings are reality and the label on a pouch of tobacco can be entered into and hounds have razors for teeth. It's up to this little girl who wants to be a witch to save the world.

The first book in the Tiffany Aching series is the beginning of one of my favorite arcs in the Discworld oeuvre of Terry Pratchett. Tiffany is a girl as hard as flint and with a mind made to solve problems. Plus, she's a fellow book nerd, she read the dictionary straight through because no one ever told her not to. While the basic plot is akin to any coming of age story where a girl learns her responsibility to her family but also her own strength, thus drawing comparisons to Labyrinth, especially as there is a scene very reminiscent of the ballroom scene in that film, it is so much more. And in the more I'm speciafically referring to the Nac Mac Feegle. I don't think I love anyone in fiction as much as I love these pictsies with there lawless ways, their fear of lawyers and their stubborn loyalty. You want to read their lines aloud to revel in their dialect of half Scottish half absurd, where ships are the wooly things that eat grass and go baa, not to be mistaken for the other. If the book could be said to have a failing it would be that of the impossibility of properly building a nonsensical world. There has only been one person, in my mind, who has ever built a 100% believable world of absurdity, and that would be Lewis Carroll. Terry Pratchett does far far better than most, but a dream world of no logic based on memories, dreams and nightmares is a hodge-podge world wherein the plot gets chunky and doesn't flow. It makes it sectional and not cohesive. But in the end, it's a great start for one of my favorite witches. It's almost like reading about a young Esme Weatherwax, with all her future still to come.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Book Review - Terry Pratchett's Carpe Jugulum

Carpe Jugulum (Discworld Book #23) by Terry Pratchett
Published by: Harper Torch
Publication Date: 1998
Format: Paperback, 378 Pages
Challenge: Terry Pratchett, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★
To Buy
Up in Lancre there is a big to do. King Verance and his Queen, Magrat, have had their first child and a party is called for. In his attempt at dragging Lancre into the Century of the Fruit Bat, Verance has invited people from all over the Disc to celebrate the naming of his daughter. So what if he really didn't think it through when sending the invites to Ubervald and the Magpyrs. This is diplomacy, and you can't not invite vampires because they are vampires now can you? But while Verance has sent out the invites to all the wrong sorts, the most important person has not received hers. While Nanny Ogg and Agnes are at the castle dealing with Mightily-Praiseworthy-Are-Ye-Who-Exalteth-Om Oats, who, while presiding over the naming, comes from a church that used to burn witches, which Nanny Ogg can't abide, Granny Weatherwax is mysteriously absent. She who is going to be the princess' godmother is missing. Or more importantly, her invite is missing, and she is never one to go where she isn't invited or wanted. Who knows, in Granny Weatherwax's mind she might have been made obsolete... she was always the crone, and now with Magrat has become a mother, Nanny Ogg becomes the crone and Esme is just pushed aside. But when the Magpyrs decide to stay permanently in Lancre, usurping Vernance's thrown, they need Granny Weatherwax more than anything. Because these vampires seem to have everyone under their spell... except Agnes, who's always in two minds about things, the second mind being Perdita, who the vampires seem unable to entrance, and Oats, whose religion seems to actually make him immune. With a convenient "spontaneous" mob, they hope to force the Magpyrs and their "new" ideas about vampirism out. But instead they bite Granny Weatherwax and the witches take to the road, ending up in Ubervald, hopefully the last place the vampires will look for them. Of course, with a few little blue men lurking about, there's no knowing how this will end up. Crivens!

The thing that I love about Pratchett is, that, while on the outside it looks like a simple science fiction story about witches and vampires, it is about so much more. From the human mentality to want a leader, if said leader stays within preconceived notions of leadering, to faith, and how it's not so much the God, but the faith behind it. To the idea of evil, and how those who behave evil and admit it are at least not trying to hide what they are behind progress and the common good. Evil is so much easier to handle in an evil package. Pratchett understands the underlying psychology of people and how they want their leaders to be leaders and their evil to be evil, but with a dash of dark humor. Plus, in today's world of all these "good vampires" it's a surprisingly current book, even though twelve years old. Here we have "mainstreaming" vampires! They actually think they're good and not evil! But savagely attacking strangers in the night is nowhere near as bad as lining up your peasants to be drained, even if you did give the town a nice new clock tower. But even amongst the weightier issues, it's the witches that drive this story. Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Magrat and Agnes are some of my favorite characters in all of Discworld. They are just as messed up as everyone else, but they are able to see the big picture and understand how people think. As Granny Weatherwax would say, it's all Headology, and somehow these witches know how to get into my head and make the world a little better through their being present. Plus, no harm can be made by throwing in some Nac Mac Feegle, my little six inch tall swearing blue Scotsmen. Ah, how I love you fighting and drinking and fighting while drinking, you brighten my day as well, only please, don't drop by, I don't have any good whiskey.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A True Loss to the Book World

Today the book world lost a great man, David Thompson. He was the assistant manager at Murder by the Book in Houston and my book guru. He died suddenly yesterday at the young age of 37, 21 of those years being spent at Murder by the Book. I never met him, though we joked about me making a journey just to Houston so that our correspondence would be less like 84, Charring Cross Road and I could stalk more of the authors I love in person. Like Helene Hanff, I have left it too late, but know that the store will continue on with his memory to inspire them. It wasn't just my bookshelves that were better because of him, but my life.

The Guild Season 4 Episode 9: Pirate Paddy

<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&from=video_hub_the-guild&fg=video_hub_the-guild&vid=8cd490ba-c57d-4e57-a552-f8f6624f58b2" target="_new" title="Season 4 - Episode 9 - Pirate Paddy">Video: Season 4 - Episode 9 - Pirate Paddy</a>

<a href="http://www.bing.com/videos/browse?mkt=en-us&from=&vid=a7ae1053-b75b-4437-8961-bb0afdcc05bd&from=en-us&fg=dest" target="_new" title="Season 4 - Bonus Clip - Taste My Pirate Patty">Video: Season 4 - Bonus Clip - Taste My Pirate Patty</a>

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tuesday Tomorrow

Reckless by Cornelia Funke
Published by: Little Brown
Publication Date: September 14th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"Beyond the mirror, the darkest fairy tales come alive. . . .

For years, Jacob Reckless has enjoyed the Mirrorworld's secrets and treasures.

Not anymore.

His younger brother has followed him.

Now dark magic will turn the boy to beast, break the heart of the girl he loves, and destroy everything Jacob holds most dear. . . .

Unless he can find a way to stop it.

If you're looking for happily ever after, you've come to the wrong place."

Ever since Inkspell I've been hooked on Cornelia Funke. Can't wait for this one!

A Life Like Other People's by Alan Bennett
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: September 14th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 256 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"In this poignant memoir of his parents’ marriage, Alan Bennett recalls the lost world of his childhood and the lives, loves, and deaths of his unforgettable aunties, Kathleen and Myra. First published in the acclaimed collection Untold Stories, this tender, intimate family portrait beautifully captures the Bennetts’ hopes, disappointments, and yearning for a life like other people’s. With the sudden descent of his mother into depression, and later dementia, Bennett uncovers a long-held family secret in this extraordinarily moving and at times irresistibly funny work of autobiography."

It's Alan Bennett, need I say more?

The Mistaken Wife by Rose Melikan
Published by: Touchstone
Publication Date: September 14th, 2010
Format: Paperback, 432 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"It is the autumn of 1797. The war between the British and the French is being fought not just openly but also in secret by a network of spies. Reluctant heiress Mary Finch is no stranger to adventure, but even she hesitates before accepting this assignment: to travel secretly to Paris and disrupt vital Franco-American negotiations. She must rely wholly upon a stranger while deceiving her "dearest friend," Captain Robert Holland. Once in France, Mary’s safety rests on a knife-edge, and her colleague has secrets of his own. Undaunted, she sets about her task with wit, stealth, and determination. But she is not the only spy in Paris, and there is more than one British life in jeopardy if she fails. As implacable enemies join forces against her, Mary may lose everything."

I just picked up the first two in the series, and from all I've heard, I'll soon have to be picking up the third!

The Phantom of Pemberly by Regina Jeffers
Published by: Ulysses
Publication Date: September 14th, 2010
Format: Paperback, 336 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"HAPPILY MARRIED for over a year and more in love than ever, Darcy and Elizabeth can't imagine anything interrupting their bliss-filled days. Then an intense snowstorm strands a group of travelers at Pemberley, and terrifying accidents and mysterious deaths begin to plague the manor. Everyone seems convinced that it is the work of a phan-tom--a Shadow Man who is haunting the Darcy family's grand estate.
Darcy and Elizabeth believe the truth is much more menacing and that someone is trying to murder them. But Pem-berley is filled with family guests as well as the unexpected travelers--any one of whom could be the culprit--so unraveling the mystery of the murderer's identity forces the newlyweds to trust each other's strengths and work together.

Written in the style of the era and including Austen's romantic playfulness and sardonic humor, this suspense-packed sequel to Pride and Prejudice recasts Darcy and Elizabeth as a husband-and-wife detective team who must solve the mystery at Pemberley and catch the murderer--before it's too late."

The cover is so pretty, plus, making Pride and Prejudice and Gothic story, too funny!

Vampire Knits by Genevieve Miller
Published by: Potter Craft
Publication Date: September 14th, 2010
Format: Paperback, 144 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Surrender to the allure of knits inspired by the immortals we all love to fear. If you adore Twilight, True Blood, or The Vampire Diaries, this collection of 28 imaginative and beautiful projects is sure to captivate.

   • Black capes are so 1897, instead get stylish with the dead sexy Sidhe Shrug.
   • Unleash your inner shapeshifter with the Werewolf Hat.
   • Keep warm while holding hands with your vampire by wearing these Bellisima Mittens.
   • Around humans? Use the Blood Bottle Cozies to disguise your beverage.

Whether you are wandering the Carpathian Mountains or the bayous of Louisiana, these smoldering projects—for knitters of all levels—will keep you well protected, no matter what you attract."

Dood! Vampires and knitting, this is too too funny!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Review - Terry Pratchett's The Last Continent

The Last Continent (Discworld Book 22) by Terry Pratchett
Published by: Harper Torch
Publication Date: 1998
Format: Paperback, 390 Pages
Challenge: Terry Pratchett, Typically British
Rating: ★★★
To Buy (different edition than one reviewed)
Rincewind has gone walkabout and there is trouble brewing at Unseen University. The Librarian is having issues with staying his normal orange hairy self and keeps randomly changing from books to deck chairs. Left unattended the library could become one of the most dangerous places in the whole of Discworld with all that untended magic. The wizards, in a moment of clarity, realize they need to solve this disaster in potentia by getting the Librarian back to his normal orangutan shape. The hitch is they need to know his name, and it's hard for them to remember a time when he actually was human and referred to as something other than "Librarian," let alone remember his name. But they have an inkling that Rincewind knows. So they just need to find Rincewind and all will be well. Only thing is, Rincewind has ended up in EcksEcksEcksEcks, the last continent that gets no rain and no one can get to due to rim fall. Since his arrival things have gone odd, everything is different, but it's been different for thousands of years as of about five minutes previously. There are drawings in the rocks that look vaguely like the faculty of Unseen University... but surely their rescue mission didn't go so awry that they ended up in the right place thousands of years before they meant to? What happens next is what always happens to Rincewind, he has to run, because there's always someone out to get him, this time a magical kangaroo... while the Wizards are relaxing on a tropical beach they found outside a bathroom window in Unseen University. The window shut and now they are trapped... but with cigarette bushes and no apparent predators, life can't be all that bad. That is until they meet the God who is the creative force behind the island. Can all the wizards get together in the same time and place and sort out the Librarian and maybe this whole lost continent? Not even the wizards can be sure of that... they might have destroyed all of causality and stepped on an ant as Ponder says, or as Ridcully says, they've always stepped on the ant so they're on the right track!

I have come to a startling conclusion. I don't really like Rincewind. It's not a hate or a dislike of his character, it's a dislike of his story arcs. He's always running and he's just fixing things by pure chance. Whereas I love the Wizards! Their interaction and social dynamics are fabulous. I also think I'm crushing a little on Ponder Stibbons... ah young wizard geek, you are for me. So therefore this book became very two fold for me. Whenever it was Rincewind in Australia, because that is what "XXXX" is, it was too much "how can I fit in another film reference, cause that's all anyone knows about Australia," oh look, Mad Max and Priscilla references abound! Versus the Wizards and their exploration of their island and how it was evolving to suit their lethargic Hobbit esque ways. In fact I think Wizards might just have Hobbits beat on a meals per day basis... just putting this out there! Plus, with the inadvertent and unexpected company of their female housekeeper, well, the Wizards trying to maintain some sense of proper decorum and respect while still living the island life is hilarious.

The one thing I found very interesting is this book's correlations to Pratchett's later work, Nation. I really didn't like that book, it was slow and ponderous and at times very confusing. I know I'm alone in this, it's won lots of awards, whatever, it just wasn't my cup of tea. As I was reading The Last Continent I kept thinking, this here, THIS is what I expected and wanted Nation to be like. Just turns out Pratchett had written it ten years earlier with wizards!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Book Review - Terry Pratchett's Jingo

Jingo (Discworld Book #21) by Terry Pratchett
Published by: Harper Torch
Publication Date: 1997
Format: Paperback, 437 Pages
Challenge: Terry Pratchett, Typically British
Rating: ★★★★★
To Buy
Sir Samuel doesn't like the pomp and circumstance of his new job title and role of husband. And he really doesn't like tights. So when an assassination attempt is bungled during a parade, obviously for Sam it's an improvement. Because the chase is what it's all about. Worry about the details later. But why would anyone want to murder the Klatchian Prince? Could it be because a very strategic island has magically appeared between the two countries and war seems imminent? With the Guild leaders and other Lords becoming power hungry and war mad, forming up militias, it's short work for them to oust Lord Vetinari and even Sir Samuel. But the key to Sam continuing to keep the peace is that handy little "sir." That sir that means he must form his own band of merry men, and who could be merrier than the city watchmen? I mean watchtrolls, golems, dwarves, zombies, werewolves, kings and Nobby (you can't really categorize Nobby). Following the leads to one 71-hour Ahmed, who then flees with Angua, means there is a ship to be requisitioned and a friend to be rescued... even if that means going all the way to Klatch. Of course the Patrician has other plans for Sergeant Colon and Nobby in a mysterious underwater vessel. But once in Klatch things get out of hand, with the watchmen being held by the D'Regs, a nomadic desert tribe known for their ruthlessness and hospitality, as well as Nobby trying to pass for a woman. But will war be avoided and can life return to normal? And can Sam ever look at his butler the same after knowing he bit off a mans ear in bloody warfare?

Terry Pratchett is the ultimate in social satire and the skewering of political situations. His handling of war is no less acute and poignant. The majority of Pratchett books seem to take me awhile to get into, but once fully ensconced, it's one of the best books I've read in ages, and this was no exception. The beginning with the whole second bowman and allusions to the Kennedy assassination was not quite working. But once Sir Samuel's path was set as the head of his own private army, it being a lords duty to protect his land and county, the book just took off. Part raucous pirate story part Lawrence of Arabia I did not want to set the book down. It's not that it just shows the flaws of war and a society hell bent on just creating hell. It shows the humanity of not just one side but both sides. The children who end up fighting people who they thought of as their friends. The lack of justice in war and the real justice that doesn't exist and maybe should... also the pointlessness of it all. For centuries jingoism dominated all countries foreign policy. A policy bent on domination and control. But despite the more "racial" jokes, they are not used derogatorily, but to show the inherent racism that still exists without any justification. The blind hatred and stupid bickering over something that is there one second and gone the next is never shown more clearly than by Pratchett who makes us laugh at our own stupidity and history, but makes us think, and then, if we're smart enough to listen... change.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Guild Season 4 Episode 8: Busted

<a href="http://www.bing.com/videos/browse?mkt=en-us&from=&vid=f92ff3f2-d335-44a2-8505-db9de5e529e4&from=en-us&fg=dest" target="_new" title="Season 4 - Episode 8 - Busted">Video: Season 4 - Episode 8 - Busted</a>

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tuesday Tomorrow

Royal Blood (A Royal Spyness Mystery) by Rhys Bowen
Published by: Berkley Hardcover
Publication Date: September 7th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"Penniless and thirty-fourth in line to the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch finds herself in a truly draining state of affairs. To escape her hateful brother, Georgie accepts an invitation from the Queen to represent the royals at a wedding in Transylvania. But at the macabre- looking castle, Georgie finds the bride with blood running down her chin, and a wedding guest is poisoned. Now it's up to Georgie to save the nuptial festivities before the couple's vows become: to love and to cherish, till undeath do them part... "

So looks like Rhys Bowen is even fallen prey to the lure of vampires... I wonder if it will be any good?

Wildthorn by Jane England
Published by: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: September 7th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"They strip her naked, of everything—undo her whalebone corset, hook by hook. Locked away in Wildthorn Hall—a madhouse—they take her identity. She is now called Lucy Childs. She has no one; she has nothing. But, she is still seventeen—still Louisa Cosgrove, isn't she? Who has done this unthinkable deed? Louisa must free herself, in more ways than one, and muster up the courage to be her true self, all the while solving her own twisted mystery and falling into an unconventional love . . . "

This has been a long time sitting on my to be bought shelf on goodreads, and finally it can be moved to the to be read shelf!

Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Published by: Haper Collins
Publication Date: September 7th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"Descended from dragons, the draki's ability to appear human protects them from hunters. Jacinda lives with her pride in the Cascades, but she chafes under her special status as the only fire-breather in hundreds of years. Recklessly breaking the “no-fly” rule, she attracts hunters; mercifully, one hunter, a beautiful boy who looks upon her with wonder, lets her escape. After this, the pride intends to hobble her rebelliousness, and Jacinda is forced to flee. But while twin sister Tamra, who never manifested and was shunned, is happy with the move, Jacinda feels only anguish within Nevada's desert climate. Then she meets Will and, despite recognizing him as the same draki hunter, feels herself come alive. Jordan's compelling addition to the supernatural star-crossed lovers theme is equal parts taut suspense and sensuous romance, with visceral writing and believable relationships among characters, particularly among Jacinda's family. A foreshadowed twist and a thrilling confrontation in the end pages leave Jacinda heartbroken and in trouble, and readers will howl for more."

This just looks like a really fun fantasy book!

Portobello by Ruth Rendell
Published by: Scribner
Publication Date: September 7th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"London's Portobello Road, a street fabled for its shops and outdoor market, provides the backdrop for Edgar-winner Rendell's superlative suspense novel, which features a cast of colorful characters from varied classes and walks of life. Secretive 50-year-old Eugene Wren, who's addicted to cheap candy lozenges, is toying with marrying his longtime girlfriend, physician Ella Cotswold. Rootless Lance Platt cases the neighborhood for costly homes he can break into, and clashes with his great-uncle, Gilbert Gibson, a former burglar who now preaches the gospel. One man's losing 115 pounds triggers a series of coincidences that brings this disparate lot closer together, toward haphazard violence and death. Rendell (The Water's Lovely) is particularly adept at portraying young people just a dole check away from homelessness as well as the carelessness and callousness of the book's upper-middle-class characters. Her style has become ever more spare while retaining its subtle psychology and vivid sense of place. "

See, you say Portobello Road and I hear, book I must read!

Driven to Ink by Karen E. Olson
Published by: Signet
Publication Date: September 7th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"The latest in the cleverly designed tattoo shop mystery series.

Brett Kavanaugh is a tattoo artist and owner of Vegas's hottest tattoo shop, The Painted Lady. And in her spare time, she does some sleuthing. After discovering the corpse of a Dean Martin impersonator-sporting a spider web tattoo and a clip cord from a tattoo machine wrapped around his neck-Brett infiltrates That's Amore, a drive-through wedding chapel, as a bride-to-be looking for the mark of a murderer... "
Sometimes you just need trashy fun with a dash of mystery, and I think these books do a damn fine job!

Cross Your Heart by Michele Bardsley
Published by: Signet
Publication Date: September 7th, 2010
Format: Paperback, 320 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"After the death of her husband-and her dreams of motherhood-Elizabeth Bretton returned to the family estate in Broken Heart, Oklahoma. Little did she know she would also give up her life as the Silverstone heiress.

But escaping the past isn't that easy-especially with a vengeful ghost trying to kill her, a 150-year-old mystery to solve, and an outrageously hot were-jaguar named "Tez" trying to get into her boudoir..."

You know you want more vampires!

Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby
Published by: Riverhead Trade
Publication Date: September 7th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"Hornby returns to his roots: music, manic fandom and messy romance in his funny and touching latest, dancing between three perspectives on fame: a sycophantic scholar, an appreciative audience member, a fabled singer-songwriter who can't see what all the fuss is about. After cult musician Tucker Crowe vanished from the public eye 20 years ago, his small but devoted fan base built up a mythology around his oeuvre and the people and places associated with his storied life. Self-appointed Crowologist Duncan has indoctrinated his girlfriend, Annie, on the wonders of Tucker, but when Annie fails to recognize the genius of a newly released version of Crowe's classic album Juliet, their 15-year relationship quickly crumbles. Meanwhile, Duncan's glowing first review is increasingly de-bated, while Annie's deconstructive essay posted on the same Web site earns her a clandestine e-mail correspondence with the reclusive musician. Soon, their exchanges grow more personal; given that Tucker lives in an American backwater and Annie resides in a remote English town, both view their e-mails as a safe flirtation until the dissolution of Tucker's latest marriage and a crisis with one of his several neglected children brings him to Annie's side of the Atlantic. Through brisk dialogue and quick scene changes, Hornby highlights each character's misconceptions about his or her own life, and though Duncan, Annie and Tucker are consistently ridiculous and often self-destructive, they are portrayed with an extraordinary degree of sympathy. Tucker's status of Dylan by way of Salinger allows for an intriguing critique of celebrity fetishization and of the motives behind the eccentricity that comes along with fame. Obviously, this is a must-read for Hornby's fans, but it also works as a surprisingly thoughtful complement to the piles of musician bios and memoirs."

Again, if you're a person who waits for the paperback, I don't get it... if on the other hand you have to get the paperback as well as the hardcover if they have different yet cool covers, then I totally get it!

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