Bruce’s Shelfies: Christmas in (Almost) July!

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It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas, so today I am going to provide you with a round up of titles that I have my eye on for the second half of the year….you know, in case any of you feel like getting a little present for your friendly neighbourhood gargoyle.  These are books that I would love to get my grubby little claws upon had I a tad more disposable income and a bit more space on the TBR shelf.

First up of course is the hardback, illustrated, large format edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I managed to pick up a second hand copy of this edition of Philosopher’s Stone at a suitcase rummage late last year for $18.  BARGAIN!  Then I may or may not have recently splurged on this edition of Chamber of Secrets.  And in the same transaction I may or may not have ordered the hardback, 20th anniversary Ravenclaw House edition of Philosopher’s Stone.  And while we’re being honest, I may or may not have already actually put this edition of Prisoner of Azkaban on pre-order.  Because it’s releasing in October and you know, I wouldn’t want to be unprepared for Christmas or anything.  I regret nothing.

Next up is Penguin Bloom: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved A Family…

penguin bloom

I actually had plenty of opportunity to receive a review copy of this one back when it was released but at the time I thought it wasn’t really my thing.  Since then, the dwelling has had its own family of extremely friendly magpies come visiting on a regular basis and all of a sudden I desperately want to read this book.  The magpie in this one seems much more tame than even the highly trusting and relaxed birds that come almost into our kitchen when they visit, so I’m interested to read more about her.

Then there’s this atmospheric and creepy little number…

white is for witching

I can never go past a haunted house tale and White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi looks particularly enticing.

And then there’s Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw…

strange practice

I want this one so much I nearly pre-ordered it last week.  It’s got Helsings, a doctor to the undead, murderous monks and a murder mystery all in one.  How could I pass it up?

Then there’s Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans…

wed wabbit

I’ve read and enjoyed a number of Lissa Evan’s other books and this one looks like a bit of a change of pace.  The blurb sounds a bit subversive to me and I’m intrigued by that scary wabbit shadow on the cover.

Then there’s the Cool Japan Guide by Abby Denson…

cool japan guide

It’s a graphic novel travel guide!!  I haven’t given up on my dream of visiting Japan and following in Mad Martha’s footsteps, despite financial impossibilities and the difficulties of getting stone on a plane and I think this book would be the perfect inspirational tome.

Then of course there’s Ben Hatke’s entire back catalouge…

mighty jack and the goblin king

But I’d settle for Mighty Jack and the Goblin King, being the second in the Mighty Jack graphic novel series.  I reviewed the first one earlier this year and I am itching to get my teeth into this next installment.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start for Santa, don’t you think?  What about you?  What books are on your Christmas list for 2017?

Until next time,

Bruce

 

 

Watch out TBR Shelf: I’ve Joined a Challenge!

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Mount TBR 2016

Well, it’s getting to that time of year again when I start looking around for new reading challenges for the coming year.  There are a number of bloggers who have put together some handy lists of many of the 2016 reading challenges that are already open for sign-up, and it was while perusing this list that I came across the Mount TBR Reading Challenge for 2016, hosted by My Reader’s Block.  I’ve been bemoaning the state of my physical and digital TBR shelves for quite some time, so I’ve taken the plunge – consider this my commitment to completing this challenge next year.

Essentially, this challenge is based around getting through books that you already own, so no library books or new purchases.  While I went into this with great excitement, I was quickly daunted by the levels being offered and so chickened out a bit and chose Level 1 (Pike’s Peak), in which I will aim to knock 12 books off my physical TBR shelf.

To help myself along, I have decided to run a new feature next year – TBR Friday – once a month, which should ensure that I reach at least the 12 books that I have set for myself.  To be even MORE organised, I have chosen eleven books that I will focus on, in no particular order, leaving the last spot free for whichever book left on the shelf takes my fancy.

Here’s my list:

TBR challenge list

Missing from the picture is Hester and Harriet by Hilary Spiers, which I have ordered, and will arrive before the January 1st, 2016 deadline for purchased books.

If you’re looking for a 2016 Reading Challenge be sure to stay tuned, because I will be unveiling the challenge for 2016 that will be hosted by The Bookshelf Gargoyle on Monday!

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