Bruce’s Shelfies: My Year in Book Titles…

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imageIt’s the time of year again during which I like to look back on what was and present to you my reflections in the form of humorous sentences using book titles.  The idea is to fill in the blanks using the titles of books that you’ve read this year.  I will be re-using the sentence starters I used last year, with a few tweaks here and there, simply because I am too lazy fond of recycling to think of new ones.  Feel free to steal these and use them for your own “year in books” post!

So far, I would describe this year as being: Oddly Normal

I’m tipping that the next big thing in Reality TV shows will be: Mud, Muck and Dead Things

I could have cried when: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

I would love to have some respite from: Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods

The most unexpected thing that happened this year involved: Resorting to Murder

My non-bookish friends would say I: Walk on the Wild Side

My motto for 2016 will be: Tell the Story to its End

I am most looking forward to:Withering By Sea

A recurring dream I’ve had this year features: The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack

If you looked under my couch you would see: Random Body Parts

If I could no longer blog, I would probably pursue a career in: Unseemly Science

Something most people don’t know about me is: I Know Sasquatch

Here are all the covers:

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Until next time,

Bruce

 

 

Bruce Steps Out for Between the Covers YA Event Brisbane!

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Last Thursday evening, something unprecedented happened.

I left the shelf.BTCYA Logo

I’ll give you a moment to absorb that, frankly, unlikely and unbelievable information.

Yes, last Thursday evening, HarperCollins Teen held a fan event for voracious readers of YA to inspire and incite fever and excitement over some of their upcoming titles.  And I made the unprecedented decision to strap on my feet (quite literally, as you will see) and get out there amongst the fleshlings.

First I had to ensure that I had functioning tootsies for the evening, after an incident with a mini-fleshling caused my duct tapefeet to part company with the rest of my person.  First I tried superglue and when that didn’t work, clutching at straws, I took the drastic measure of duct taping my feet to my body.  At least the grey tape matches my hide.

It’s hardly even noticeable, right?!

On arrival at the State Library of Queensland, I attempted to blend in with the fleshlings and their goodie bags.  I think I did a fine job and they never noticed a thing.

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I even managed to snap a shot with Terry, the YA-reading Dinosaur mascot of the Between the Covers team!

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And I got to rub shoulders with some of Brisbane’s best and brightest bloggers in the YA sphere.  Here are some of those that attended.

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We were even treated to a chat from recent Gold Inky winner, Gabrielle Tozer – author of YA comedy contemporary titles The Intern and its sequel Faking It – and not only did she manage to photobomb my selfie, she was kind enough to sign a copy of her first book for me…selfie photobombintern cover_Fotor_Fotor_Collage

I’m not sure whether she intentionally meant the “rock” pun, given my stony nature, but I appreciated it nonetheless.

There was also plenty of loot on hand for attendees, with a few brilliantly enticing ARCs in our goodie bags, including Oz YA titles Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (described as a cross between Buffy and Jane Austen!!) and This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang, author of Falling Into Place.

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I’m also itching to get into Demon Road by Derek Landy (of Skulduggery Pleasant fame), which looks like it will be delightfully cheeky and action-packed.  I was lucky enough to win some extra goodies, which included the graphic novel Nimona by Noelle Stevenson; a book that has been on my TBR for a while.

In fact, I was so swamped with loot, that I was very nearly crushed under the mountainous pile of it.

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All in all it was a wonderfully successful first jaunt out into the big wide world.  Mad Martha was exceptionally jealous that she didn’t get to fulfil her usual role as “Shelf Venturer-Outerer” given the amount of loot involved, but she needn’t worry as I doubt I will be making a habit of it.  I’m certain I lost a little stone off my ears in the journey there and back.

Many thanks to HarperCollins Australia for extending an invitation to we shelf dwellers!

Until next time,

Bruce

Bruce’s Shelfies: The Book of Curious Lists…

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imageHello there! Today we’re getting up close and personal with another Shelfy, wherein I share with you some of the more interesting books on my shelf.  Today I have just the thing for the creatives among you and those who just love a good list.  Many years ago (well, maybe 5) I came across this darling little tome on the Book Depository:

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In case you can’t read it clearly, it is Curious Lists: A Creative Journal for List-Lovers published by Chronicle Books.  It was one of those books that I enthusiastically engaged with for a few months immediately after its purchase, and then put aside as other time-thieves took over my waking hours.  But the metaphorical chickens have come home to do some metaphorical roosting, because having picked it up again during out recent move, I found it was just perfect to share with you in this Shelfies feature as a little snapshot of Bruce as I was around about 2010.

Essentially, this is a sweet little hardback tome filled with prompts for creating lists.  But these are no ordinary lists, oh no.  These lists are strange, unexpected and sometimes just downright silly.  Let me demonstrate.

Here’s one of my favourite lists in the book: Collections of Things Beginning with the Letter S or O

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You can tell it’s one of my favourites due to the vigour with which I’ve approached the filling in of the list.  In fact, I was so enthusiastic about collections of severed limbs, that I’ve listed them twice. Such is the enjoyment that this little book brings.

Here’s another that got my mind whirring: Encumbrances for a Bike Rider

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I think it was the little illustration that piqued my imagination, but I found quite a bit of glee in mentally conjuring the image of a bike rider trying to balance a kennel of homeless puppies on his or her handlebars.  Or indeed, a couple of stone gargoyles.

Some of the lists I obviously used to demonstrate how hilarious I am.  Consider evidence A: Quotes Uttered at a Shakespeare Holiday Party

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Clearly I laughed like a drain when composing this list, no doubt wiping a granite tear from my eye as I did so.  And here’s another that I quite obviously was itching for someone else to read and enjoy, from around the time I was perched on a teacher’s bookshelf: Heartbreaking Words to Be Said to a Teacher

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The above picture also demonstrates that some of the lists had me baffled.  Cuisine Associated with Philadelphia remained sadly blank for the longest time until I happened to catch an episode of Dr Phil a year or two ago, in which the good Ph.D. visited Philadelphia and ate a cheese steak.  Of course I dashed off immediately to fill in my book of lists!

Other suggestions for this list would be gratefully received.  Of course, I could just google the information, but where’s the fun in that?  Apart from Philadelphian cuisine, here are some other lists that I’m stuck on:

Zip Codes in New York

Evergreen Shrubs of Ireland

Weeds that are also not Weeds

Beaches of Southern California

Rural Areas mentioned in Hemingway Stories

Any suggestions received will duly attract a “suggester’s credit” in my little book, of course.  While you’re thinking, here are two more lists that I filled in with only one entry.  Obviously I thought these single items were sufficiently hilarious that I need add no more!

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Equally hilarious suggestions will of course be gratefully received.

I’m interested to know if anyone else out there is in possession of this wondrous little list repository and if so, how it illuminates their life.  Or indeed if anyone has something similar, I would love to hear about it.

Until next time,

Bruce

A New, Revealing Feature: Bruce’s Shelfies!

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Welcome to my new, shelf-centred feature: Bruce’s Shelfies! Seeing as I spend all of my time here, and it informs so much of my thoughts on books that make my acquaintance, I thought I would introduce you to some of the special nooks and crannies of my domain over the course of a few posts.

Regular readers will be aware that the shelf has recently moved, so I thought I’d start by showing you around my new abode.  This is not an exhaustive tour of the Shelfdom – think of it more as a sort of highlights package.  Come on in!

Here’s my new perch:

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You can see that I’m looking rather smug in my new home.  Mad Martha shares this exalted spot with me and we decided that we would fill our top shelf with all our favourite fantasy and paranormal books.  Most of these have been mentioned at some point on the blog and therefore might look mildly familiar.

Underneath us, is our “classics and re-readables” shelf:

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I have recently culled my Doctor Who collection, but a few remain.  You might also note a range of well-clawed Red Dwarf books, which will be the subject of a later Shelfies post.  Notably missing is a hardback set of The Lord of the Rings and another hardback set of the Chronicles of Narnia.  Both were too big to fit on this shelf, so they occupy a special place on another shelf.

For some zany reason, I decided to group all my books (that weren’t already at home on the previous two shelves) by authors from the UK together and these occupy the next shelf down.

Now, my TBR shelf:

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I have ALWAYS wanted a shelf of books arranged according to colour, so I just went ahead and did it with my TBR pile.  You can also see my Good, Sad and Quirky guys (and friends!) perched upon their corresponding colour piles. Guru Dave and Toothless also occupy this shelf in order to keep their claws on the pulse of what is entering our reading world. Please let us know if you’ve read any of the books on my TBR shelf, and what you thought of them!

In other news, the fleshlings have bought a dog in order to make the house a home (awash with dog hair). Her name is Rosie and so far, has shown no interest in de-perching me, but some interest in chewing the mini-fleshlings’ board books.  Here she is, reclining:

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And finally, here are the newest additions to the shelf, picked up by Mad Martha this very day at a local book sale:

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She was particularly excited to stumble upon the Ian Sansom tome (on the left), as this had been on our radar as a potential candidate for our Monday is for Murder feature.  Or at least, the author is. I’m not sure there is any actual murder in the Mobile Library series. Nevertheless, gaining this one for the bargain price of 45 cents was something of a coup.  Mad Martha also snagged a short story collection by Brian Jacques, author of the Redwall series (which we haven’t read), that looks as if it might be odd and creature-filled. Bliss! To the TBR pile they go.

Next time I think I might do a bit of “Show-and-Tell” with some of my more valuable tomes…signed editions and such.  If there is anything you would like me to reveal in future editions of this feature, please do let me know and I will do my best to accommodate.

Until next time,

Bruce