Readers Represen’: Tees for lovers of literacy…

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As a gargoyle, I have little need for clothing and while this has its advantages, it also means that I cannot outwardly express my likes and interests through fashion.  You can though. So here are some of my favourite book-related tees…laybuy now for Christmas!  You can find the links for where to purchase these tees at the end of this post!

Tantalised by Tolkein?  You don’t have to go to Mt Doom and back for these, precious! Wild about Harry? These might be right up your (Diagon) Alley! Hungry for the Hunger Games? These might make a nice tribute!  Want something a little less…commercial?  Here are some tees that are sure to gain you looks of obscurity and the occasional appreciative glance indicating that someone else gets the reference…

So, my fleshling friends, now you have no excuse not to cover your fleshy hides with fashionable attire, while also promoting the wonders of reading.

Until next time,

Bruce

Find these tees here:

The Prancing Pony: http://www.redbubble.com/people/thehookshot/works/8450059-the-prancing-pony?p=t-shirt

The Green Door: http://shirtoid.com/78440/the-green-door/

Baggins Family Jewellers: http://www.fivefingertees.com/baggins-family-jewelers-t-shirt.html

I Just Nevilled Up: http://www.redbubble.com/people/synaptyx/works/7543019-i-just-nevilled-up

Join Dumbledore’s Army: http://www.redbubble.com/people/perdita00/works/9278391-join-dumbledores-army-today

A Seeker’s Quest: http://www.redbubble.com/people/beware1984/works/9017933-a-seekers-quest

District 12 Fightin’ Jays: http://shirtoid.com/64340/district-12-fightin-jays/

Hunger-lympics: http://www.redbubble.com/people/winterartwork/works/8441899-hunger-lympics

Farewell District 12: http://www.redbubble.com/people/famousafterdeth/works/8101014-farewell-district-12-full-logo

Where the Wild Adventures Are: http://www.redbubble.com/people/drawsgood/works/8900865-where-the-wild-adventures-are

Slugworth: http://www.bustedtees.com/slugworth

Tollbooth Adventures: http://shirtoid.com/61325/tollbooth-adventures/

Sherlock is my Holmesboy: http://www.redbubble.com/people/swissarmyshark/works/7886326-sherlock-is-my-holmesboy

Elect Zaphod Beeblebrox: http://www.bustedtees.com/electzaphodbeeblebrox

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Daisy award: will wonders never cease?

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It is with much blushing and “aw shucks’es” that I announce my receipt of a Daisy award, from the delightful and mysterious Lily  Wight of http://lilywight.com/.  Curious as to the origins of this award, I completed some research and discovered the creator of the “Daisy” is one Subtlekate, and you can read of the origins of this award here: http://subtlekate.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/thursday-is-award-day/

In accordance with the rules of this bestowal, I present to you seven interesting facts about my humble self:

1.  Up until this morning I was unaware that blog awards existed.

2. It appears that I thrive on positive feedback and the receipt of awards (expected or otherwise)

3. The last gargoyle in my ancestry to have received an award of such eminence was my great-great-uncle Martin, who was awarded the Order of the Marble Bookend for his contribution to treaty negotiations between Shelf Gargoyles and Paper-Eating Insects.

4. I have yet to find an anti-aging cream that works on stone flesh.

5.  Contrary to gargoyle social expectations, I am quite interested in maintaining my level of physical fitness.  To this end I pratice a strict routine of calisthenics every morning.

6. I am remarkable poor at the game of “pick-up-sticks”.

7.  I am remarkably able at maintaining an effective poker face.

The rules of this bestowal also require me to nominate other worthy bloggers for attaining similar heights of daisy-ness.  I, as a newish blogger, have taken the executive decision to postpone this duty pending further research in the blogverse.  To that end, I will present a new post at a later date announcing my nominations.

Again, many thanks to Lily Wight for this honour – it is quite difficult to make a gargoyle blush, but you have achieved this today.

Until next time,

Bruce

Retro Reading: Choosing one’s own adventure…

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  “BEWARE and WARNING!

This book is different from other books. 

You and YOU ALONE are in charge of what happens in this story…”

I must admit, when I saw the book pictured here land on my shelf I emitted a gasp suffused with nostalgia and excitement and more than a little trepidation.  It was as if I had dropped back through time (appropriately enough, given the title) to the days when I graced the shelf of a much younger fleshling.

Ah, the phenomenon that was Choose Your Own Adventure!  Designed as an interactive reading experience, some forty titles made their way out into the homes and hearts of young readers, to engage and frustrate and challenge.  Each book contained multpile endings to the story which could be accessed after the reader had made a choice about the direction of the plot.

Surely I am not alone in remembering the feelings of anticipation and angst that accompanied every choice; the complicated internal dialogue that reflected the fraught-ness of each decision…should I stay and search the cave (turning to page 56) or go back and find my dog first (turning to page 89)?   Should loyalty to one’s canine outweigh the potential for discovery? Which action would serve me better in saving myself from future peril? And could I sneakily leave my finger to mark the page in case I made the wrong choice?

How well I recall the feeling of righteous indignation that welled up when, having made a well-considered and strategic decision, I was met with those awful words, written in bold capitals after half a page or less of text – THE END. How could my plucky gamble have backfired so poorly? And what measure of ethics surrounded this “ending” of my adventure? Was it morally the correct thing to begin the story again from the beginning, or would the god of the reading universe overlook, say, a change of heart that involved simply turning back a few pages and choosing the initially discarded option?  After all, a gargoyle is entitled to change his (or her) mind.  It could simply have been that in the time between making the choice, and turning the pages (with possibly a glimpse at those terrible, story-ending words as the pages turned) that a gargoyle reconsidered the criteria on which to base the most prudent choice.  Yes, obvioulsy I meant to choose the other option.  Any fool could see that.  I just…misread…which page I was supposed to turn to.

Surely this collection of books is ready for a second coming.  After all, younglings of this generation are breast-fed on interactive everything – Ipods, smartphones, Wii thingies….why not books?  The series has even been extended in recent years to include beginning readers, with new titles published that cater specifically to children in pre-school and prep.  Imagine, if you will: new parents, who grew up on the heady anticipation of being master (or mistress) of their own story domain, guiding their younglings in the best strategies to avoid disaster….it could be a brave new world of reading pleasure.

Admittedly, re-engaging with this particular Choose Your Own Adventure title as an older gargoyle lacked somewhat in the area of disbelief suspension, but nonetheless, the trip down memory lane it provided was worth the extra effort it took to really imagine one’s self into the story.  But never fear! This is one gargoyle who believes firmly in re-gifting, and will no doubt wrap this one up and pass it on to gargoyles of a more recent vintage to discover…for the first time.

And if the nostalgia bug has burrowed it’s way into your neurotransmitters while reading this post, you may find some relief here: http://www.cyoa.com/

Until next time,

Bruce

Ode to an Author: Anthony Horowitz

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Mad Martha here – after hearing the joyous news of the publication of the fifth book in the Power of Five series, “Oblivion”, I decided to honour with a poem that master of creepiness – Anthony Horowitz.  Sit back and enjoy the incredible job I have done of rhyming with Horowitz….including having to use a superfluous “s” on more than one occasion.

Enticing tomes in which he fits

some terrifying horror bits,

I crave the thrill, suspense and glitz

of books by ‘T’ony Horowitz.

I grab them with my hairy mitts,

They lift me out of boredom’s pits,

As spellbound and engaged I sits,

And read and read, I just can’t quits!

How I wish I had the wits to write like Mr Horowitz.

The gargoyle appeals to the fat man in red…

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It is almost unfathomable to think that there exists a kit designed for the individual to create their own lending library at home, and I was not informed.  The shelf gargoyle communication network has seriously dropped the ball on this one.

Yet I am prepared to forgive – and present to you this little gem, complete with stamps, cards, pockets…and the power to fine those who do not return your books!

It is available at ThinkGeek…here: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/e326/#tabs

Laybuy now for Christmas.

Bruce

The Corpse-Rat King…a memorable romp through death, disaster and destiny

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[Marius]..”stepped away from the hull and found a small rise where he could lay back and knit his hands behind his head, and pretend he was lying in a field somewhere to rest off a particularly good drink, instead of waiting at the bottom of the ocean for an insane centaur with delusions of grandeur to finish beating up a ship full of nothing.” p 276

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had been waiting patiently for this book to land on my shelf for a good long while, my shelf’s owner having pre-ordered it well before the publication date based simply on the intriguing title alone.  The corpse-rat of the title refers to one Marius don Hellespont, who makes his living by trawling corpses found on battlefields and relieving them of valuables that have become superfluous to their owner’s current station.  It is on one of these sojourns that Marius is mistaken for a corpse and accompanied to the land of the dead, where he is promptly tasked with finding a dead king to rule over the domain of the dear departed.

Cue death, disaster and finally, destiny, as Marius does his level best to escape both the pesky dead and their pesky task while his body passes through varying states of decomposition.

I must admit that this gargoyle took a while to warm to this book, as the character of Marius is not altogether a likeable fellow – at least early on.  The further I ventured with him though, the more he grew on me and by the halfway point, I found myself snatching snippets of time to plunge back into the story.

The book did not carry the tone that I imagined it might on reading the blurb.  I was expecting something along the lines of Yahtzee Croshaw’s “Mogworld”, which also contains an undead hero, initially out for number one, whose only aim is to escape his current predicament by either (a) dying properly, or (b) returning to life.  The Corpse-Rat King, however, was not, for the most part, light-hearted and the humour was far less flippant than in Croshaw’s tome.  This I initially considered to be a negative aspect, but after finishing it, I am of the opinion that this book contains a much deeper story than Croshaw’s, and one which has been well-crafted to engage the reader beyond the amusing premise promised by the blurb.  Certainly by the halfway point, the tone has lightened and the final chapters are replete with the cheerful calamity that one would expect of a group of protagonists that include two people in various states of undeath and a  7-foot tall royal skeleton.

The Corpse-Rat King is definitely worth a look in my opinion, not least because it is published by Angry Robot Books, who are fast becoming one of my “go-to” publishers when I am in need of a fresh take on sci-fi or fantasy.

Speaking of sci-fi and fantasy, as an end note, I have very recently become aware that the fifth book in the “Power of Five” series by Anthony Horowitz, “Oblivion” is due for release in the next month.  I am utterly excited about this as it has been such a long gap between books four and five that I began to believe that I had hallucinated the idea of a fifth book, and that the story did really end with number four, but I somehow missed it.  Stay tuned for a review of this one in the future.

Until next time,

Bruce

Worthy additions to my shelfdom…

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I am utterly enamoured of these amazing pieces of book-related art…in fact, I believe I will use some of the, shall we say, less lofty books on my shelf to begin this meditative practice myself.

The knight and dragon sculpture is available at WetCanvasArt’s shop on etsy, here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WetCanvasArt?section_id=11157337

While this Little House sculpture is available at Artful Living, here:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/artfuliving?ref=top_trail

Until next time,

Bruce