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27 May 2010

Book Club, New Purchases, Unshelved and Design

It's book club night! I am always excited about book club. You may think that is nerdy of me (well, it is!), but I really love my book club. Aside from being able to discuss books, characters, themes, ridiculously overused words in PR *snickers* and as well as tour news and new books coming out, we find out the latest gossip circulating about future books, authors and the like, and it is a great source for finding new books to read! The members have become friends, either on facebook or in the real world. I love everything about it! Well, not everything! As I was discussing with Kat from BookThingo on Twitter yesterday, we need more room. There needs to be a dedicated space for our book club meetings. At the moment we take up half of the space between the Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy and Horror shelves, and it is two rows of chairs, not a circle. It means that there is normally two or three conversations going on at once. I try and sit in the middle so I can take part in both LOL We used to have a book/series of the week, but lately those haven't been set. That has both good and bad aspects. It means that those who haven't read the book can keep up with the conversation, and lets face it, we rarely stuck on topic any way! But it also means that there isn't as much structure to the sessions. I always go to the first book club of the month, but am planning to start going to the second one as well. See, there were too many people interested in attending a Paranormal Romance book club, so they had to split us up. But they are fine with you picking and choosing, as long as you RSVP. I am looking forward to getting to know some new people. I know some who go to the other meeting, because they sometimes come to ours, and we have had a joint book club, as well as meeting them at signings. The only things I do on Thursday nights are shopping and book club, and I don't mind sacrificing one night shopping a month to talk more about books LOL So tonight and next Thursday I will be surrounded by people who share my love of books with bite :D

Last night I bought the new Richelle Mead Vampire Academy novel Spirit Bound. I am currently rereading the series, and am about a quarter of the way through the book preceding it, so I hope to start Spirit Bound next week. I am currently reading Richelle Mead as my "before bed" series, which is why I haven't finished it yet. I also bought Nora Robert's new Bride Quartet instalment, called Savour the Moment. I am loving this series. Nora Roberts is the only straight romance author I read, so it is kind of a guilty pleasure... I am not used to reading non-speculative fiction unless it is a classic or mystery LOL Her books are a lot more girly than I normally read, which is why it is such a guilty little pleasure for me. Tonight at book club (10% discount!) I am buying Erica Hayes second book Shadow Glass (I met her last Sunday!) and will look around for one more book to buy. I haven't been keeping track about what is out, so it should be interesting!

^Haha so true! I love Unshelved! I see both sides of this. Speculative Fiction readers are very particular and very predictable. There are so many types of readers in this genre, and we all have our likes, dislikes and just don't cares. It makes it hard for non-readers to recommend books that the aficionado would approve of. And a lot of those lists are stereotypical or recommend the flashy books that aren't worth reading. I think a general hint if you are trying to write this sort of list is to ask for help, research and then read the books yourself! Just because I think Dune is one of the best science fiction books ever written doesn't mean you agree with me. Its a good idea to stick to the masters of science fiction though, if you are making a list of science fiction for people who aren't fans to read!

I am thinking of changing my blog design. I normally have dark blogs with light text, but I wanted it more approachable so I went for a clean design. I am thinking of heading back to my personal preferences and maybe doing either a steampunk or goth template for this blog. What do you think? Which do you prefer to read, light or dark? Do you want a minimalist design, or something interesting? I am not quite sure which path to take... Maybe I should take yon bonny road that winds about yon fernie brae?

26 May 2010

BBC Reading List

I am reposting this from my facebook notes - I shared it about a year ago.

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible (bits and pieces, some whole books, some partly, some not at all)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (read half once, currently reread half)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott 
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare 
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier 
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger 
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald - 1/2 (currently reading)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma-Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
5 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - william makepeace thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I've read 40 of these, partly read three, gave up on a few of them, and about ten are on my "one day" TBR list. How about you? How many have you read? How many do you want to read? If you repost this on your blog, can you send me a link so I can see other commenters? I've always found it really interesting how people react to these types of lists!

25 May 2010

Rambles: SWF Poetry & Melina Marchetta, Lover Mine, Desert Spear, Insomnia reading etc

I haven't had any time to write reviews, nor have I found any definitive stories to blog about this week. For that reason this entry will just be me blogging, on a book-themed ramble. Things that have been happening lately are the Sydney Writer's Festival, a LOT of my favourite authors bringing out books, twitter, and my new reading regime.

Sydney Writer's Festival: I had plans to go to two of these events, Poems To Share and Melina Marchetta and David Levithan discussing writing YA Fiction. The first was on Friday. I went to Poems to Share with Anna and some of her PhD friends. Yep, they are all studying English and Medieval Literature. That for me is completely swoon-worthy, and something I would have focused on myself if I wasn't so positive that Archaeology was where I wanted to go. I loved studying Anglo Saxon (Old English) at university - and I was bloody good at it! My lecturer was always talking about me doing my PhD in it, and I always got HD grades LOL That is where I met Anna. She lives the dream! She did her Masters studying Medieval Literature at the University of Leeds in the UK, then came back here and is now doing her PhD at University of Sydney. All her friends are through her postgrad studies, except little old me. I'm a wannabe. I get so depressed that I work in a office, with no vocational connection to archaeology or cultural heritage management. And then I see my friends all living the dream or still studying. Damn I miss uni. I would have stayed there if I could afford it LOL Okay, I got off topic! So Anna invited me with her uni mates to go to Poems to Share at the SWF. I love poetry, but have never been to a reading before. I was concerned that is would be completely pretentious, and whilst I found the first poet's list poetry to be, the rest was great! I really liked a lot of the poetry. The only two I remember the names for are Lachlan Brown who wrote some really amazing poetry about growing up in the Western Sydney suburbs. The other is Kate Fagan, who I also know as a folk singer. I have to admit, we got there about 5 minutes late, and the lady who was meant to show us our table was clueless. We ended up sitting on chairs up the back instead of our table up the front. The entire night was unpretentious and fun, and I found most of the poetry to my taste. And I had fun! Later we went to Pancakes on the Rocks and can I just tell you, waiting for a table for 8 at Pancakes is terrible! But it worked, and was worth the wait! So I spent the night talking about all the various adaptations and interpretations of Robin Hood (which is what Sabina is doing her thesis on - also a fellow nerd, so we got into authors like Gemmell and Zimmer-Bradley etc), about the sucky job opportunities of humanities degrees without postgrad *le sigh* and just general chit chat. It was a lot of fun, and I would go again! I was meant to go see Melina Marchetta and David Levithan discuss their characterisations and writing young adult fiction on Sunday. I was getting really excited, because I have been a fan of Melina Marchetta for nearly 15 years! I discovered her novel Looking for Alibrandi when I was in year 7, about the same time I discovered See How They Run by David McRobbie - I reread both of them numerous times. In year 12, they bought out the movie with Pia Miranda and Anthony Lapaglia - we studied the novel for English and the movie was a field trip (that I missed because I was on a geography excursion). Anyway, Melinia Marchetta has been a part of my teens, and I was looking forwards to hearing her talk about her characters and writing YA Fiction. I've seen her talk before, at the film festival in Leichhardt but that was about being and Italian Australian, not about her writing. I've always borrowed her books, so I didn't have any of my own to get autographed (She has always been on my buy list, but I never get around to it LOL) but Bonnie did, so I was planning on getting Melina to sign Finnikin of the Rock for her. However, on Sunday I was having an off day, and couldn't get out of bed (I couldn't even get into the kitchen to find food.. got a bit hungry!) so I had to cancel. I am so sad and disappointed. I really really wanted to go! It seemed like it would have been a really interesting discussion about YA Fiction. Another time, I guess *sigh*

In other news, last Sunday, the day after the ARRA Awards ceremony, I went into Galaxy because my friend Sofia said that Tracey O'Hara and Erica Hayes would be there. Sadly Tracey had to head back home and couldn't make it, but she commented on my blog!! *squee* I have met her before at my PR book club, and she is such a wonderful person. I love her book, can't wait for the sequel. Definitely squee-worthy! So, there was just Erica Hayes. She was lovely. She signed my book for me (I will photograph that later and add it to my collection here) and had a little chat before heading off to the book stacks. I read the book straight away, and said something on twitter, and she replied! Not only that, she spelt my name correctly! :D I love her book too. It is set in Melbourne, and it has that gritty feel to it that I find a lot of Aussie authors seem to have.

Recently read books I was jonesing for:

Lover Mine by JR Ward - I think I focused more of Quinn and Blaylock than I did on John and Xhex. I loved it! It was sad and violent, but at the same time, there was always hope. I love the twist about Xhex's origins. I really think that Quinn and Blaylock need their own book! I am not sure if Ward will write a M/M, but I think these two characters deserve their own stage. They really were outshining John and Xhex, despite those two being favourites we waited for impatiently.  
5/5 Stars

The Desert Spear by Peter V Brett - I finished this last night. I really loved the first half about the Krasians. I have a thing about desert cultures, and it was really good to see more about their motivations. I think the second half of the book went on too many tangents, but I still loved it. I think he is mostly setting up the third book, but at the same time, I am not too sure I like the connections he is making. The last tangent is annoying me, and the last line was a total WTF moment. I love the development with the corelings, and I want to know more. There is a passage at the end of the book that was very intriguing. I am hooked, I need to read the third book! I would have given it a lower score, but the first half of the book was terrific.  
4/5 Stars

My review for the first book in the series (The Painted Man, called The Marked Man in America) can be found here.

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong - I really love Kelley Armstrong. She rarely writes something I didn't like! I really like this series, and I love they way the plot is playing out. The love triangle gets resolved as well, people are lost and people are found, and friends aren't always what they appear. The intrigue in this series is great!
5/5 Stars

I have a new regime when it comes to reading. Previously I was reading one book actively, and about 9 waiting for me to finish them at any one time. My new deal is I have a book for work, normally one I am hooked on and am likely to fly through. Then there is a home book that lives on my spare pillow. I read it of a night and they tend to be rereads or slower books. I am not allowed to read my work book after 12am (because I tend to read them until they are finished). I've been doing this in just over a week, and it has been going well. I am trying to get my sleeping patterns under control (insomnia, so my bedtime is 2am) and I think having a sure fire way of putting my book down when I can't keep my eyes open will help. I tend to steam on when it is a fast ride. Even if I don't change my sleep patterns by doing this, I am hopping to get through my stack of partly read books that I put aside whenever I hit Galaxy bookstore and pick up fresh titles. Wish me luck.

So, questions... Did you go to Sydney Writer's Festival, have you been to a poetry reading, what did you think of Lover Mine, and how do you cope with your reading pile? And do you squee when you interact with a favoured author?

15 May 2010

Meeting some authors tomorrow - if I wake up!

I'm meeting Erica Hayes and Tracey O'Hara tomorrow!! I love Sofia, she knows the most interesting people! Tracey O'Hara came to our book club last year - such an awesome lady! I love her book, and I can't wait to read more! I haven't read Erica Hayes yet, but she has been on my TBR list for a while... I guess I am buying one of her books tomorrow LOL Downloading the prequel to her story now :) I will be taking the chap book that Tracey gave to me about six months ago to be signed as well. I just need to find it..=. I wish I could have gone to the ARRA Awards tonight, there were so many authors *dazes off into space* And the dessert was lovely according to the texts and tweets I received! Apparently I will be roped in for next year :) I can then compete in the Bling off.. I'm still not sure who won, but someone said that no one could beat Nalini Singh? She is such a classy lady that I can totally believe it! LOL

Nalini Singh just announced the name for the third Guild Hunter's novel!

I mentioned yesterday on Twitter that Nalini Singh just finished the third Guild Hunter's novel. Well, as an Australian exclusive, she just announced that it will be called Archangel's Consort!!! She is - as we speak - presenting at the Australian Romance Readers Association Awards. Sofia just texted me, and one of the people I follow tweeted at the same time! I think this is the first blog announcing it LOL (it was, I googled it LOL)

^Kat from BookThingo just tweeted a photo of the announcement! Wandergurl from BookThingo is holding the banner! She has a better photo on flickr (Nalini is in blue).


FYI: the first pic is the cropped cover of Archangel's Kiss

10 May 2010

Puffin's Top 70 Children's Books

Puffin recently celebrated its 70th birthday and released a list of its top 70 books, highlighting Puffin’s place in children’s publishing. They have so many amazing titles. I stumbled across this list when I was looking for something else. I thought I would share it as it contains a lot of books that were my childhood favourites (The BFG, Anne of Green Gables, the Moomintroll series, Little Women, Peter Pan, Hairy Maclary, The Borrowers, Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz etc). I have italicised the ones I have definitely read. There are a few others that I think I have read, but without googling them I cannot say for sure. Which books have you read? And does this list contain any childhood favourites?

The Puffin Top 70:

The Best Mischief and Mayhem
  • The Twits by Roald Dahl
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  • The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog by Jeremy Strong
  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend
The Best Weepies
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • The Truth about Leo by David Yelland
  • Two Weeks with the Queen by Morris Gleitzman
  • Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
The Best to Cuddle-Up With
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • The Bog Baby by Jeanne Willis & Gwen Millward
  • Peepo! by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  • Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy by Lynley Dodd
The Best Blood and Guts
  • The Enemy by Charlie Higson
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Being by Kevin Brooks
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Best Swashbucklers and Derring-Do
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs by Giles Andreae & Russell Ayto
  • Young Samurai: The Way of the Warrior by Chris Bradford
  • Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green
The Best Heroes
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  • Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  • Young Bond: SilverFin by Charlie Higson
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Best Characters
  • Charlie and Lola: Excuse Me But That is My Book by Lauren Child
  • Meg and Mog by Helen Nicoll & Jan Pienkowski
  • Angelina Ballerina by Katharine Holabird & Helen Craig
  • Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs
The Best Sugar and Spice
  • Milly-Molly-Mandy Stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley
  • The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  • The Princess and the Pea by Lauren Child & Polly Borland
The Best Animals
  • Spy Dog by Andrew Cope
  • The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith
  • My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
  • Lionboy by Zizou Corder
The Best Friends and Family
  • Dizzy by Cathy Cassidy
  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Family From One End Street by Eve Garnett
  • Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
The Best Phizzwhizzers
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl
The Best War and Conflict
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Once by Morris Gleitzman
  • Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian
  • Carrie's War by Nina Bawden
  • Stig of the Dump by Clive King
  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
  • Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson
  • How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
  • Junk by Melvin Burgess
The Best Fantasy and Adventure
  • TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow
  • Dot Robot by Jason Bradbury
  • Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
  • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
The Best Weird and Wonderful
  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Five Children and It by E Nesbitt
  • The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
The Best Rhymes and Verse
  • Please Mrs Butler by Allan Ahlberg
  • Michael Rosen's A-Z The best children's poetry from Agard to Zephaniah
  • Talking Turkeys by Benjamin Zephaniah
  • Bad Bad Cats by Roger McGough
The Best Alternatives to Twilight
  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  • The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
  • Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

05 May 2010

I received a peer award

I am all aflutter! I just won a peer award from Nicole Trist :D  Thank You Nicole!!!

The tradition of this award dictates that I need to list ten favourite things and nominate ten other blogs for the award.

These are a few of my favourite things:
  1. Reading (surely this is self evident?) and the tactile nature of books.
  2. Archaeology.
  3. Live music. I love an eclectic mix of music and going to gigs and listening to live music. It doesn't have to be a big international act; I am content if it is a local four-piece playing at my local pub, or a busker at Central Station.
  4. Galaxy Bookstore. They are a bookstore that caters exclusively to the speculative fiction market, and as well as science fiction, fantasy, horror and speculative non-fiction, they also have a wall dedicated to paranormal romance and urban fantasy. They host the paranormal romance book club that I attend religiously.
  5. Akasha. She is a Deerhound x Wolfhound x Dane, and ever so cute. I just want to give her a big squishy hug! Despite the fact that she has to live with my folks, she is still my baby. She still loves listening to me over the phone. She talks to me and wags her tail, and whenever I visit she won't leave my side. I just wish I could afford to rent a house in Sydney that had a yard large enough for my puppy! It is days like that when I wish she was a pocket puppy and didn't need so much space!
  6. Art. I love either making it or appreciating it.
  7. Asparagus sushi rolls and Thai green chicken curry.
  8. Clouded leopards. My second favourite animal is the snow leopard.
  9. Environmentalism. To my knowledge, our planet is the only one that has chocolate - yet every day we do more and more damage to our planet. We just aren't thinking, dammit!
  10. Technology, the interwebs and gadgets... gimme!

I am nominating the following blogs for this award:

I am nominating these blogs either for the content, the design, the concept or just because I enjoy reading them (I will go around notifying them later today as some of them are NSFW).

Thank you Nicole!

03 May 2010

Review: The Painted Man by Peter V Brett

I am transcribing the review I wrote on my phone on the 24th April 2010. This is the first book I am using for the North American part of the Global Challenge I am undertaking. In the United States, this book is entitled The Warded Man (ours is better!).

I just read The Painted Man by Peter V Brett for the second time. I loved it the first time I read it, it was my pick of the year. On reading it, I was just as involved with the story. I had slightly misremembered the significance of some things, but overall it was just as I remembered; an involving plot that twists and turns, and three well written protagonists that you can’t help but appreciate. The best things are the monsters (aren’t they always?), demons (creatures from the world’s core) in many shapes and sizes, inhumane and alien. The Painted Man follows the story of one boy who refuses to hide anymore, a girl who realises she can be more than just a wife and mother, and a boy who overcomes the odds to discover an amazing musical gift. Their story weaves together in a land where every night is fraught with terror and potential peril. Crofters hide in their warded cottages, listening to the sound of demonic screams of rage as the corelings test their wards over and over, berserking at the thought of their slaughter. The cityfolk hide behind their warded walls. They don't see or hear the corelings, but they are still hidebound because that one night they chance the streets might be the night the corelings succeed in breaking the wards. Being caught outside of the wards is a known death sentence, and so humanity clings to its protection. The only people that face the night are the Messengers and Jongleurs. They journey outside the cities and villages, with only a warded rope circle to protect them. These are flimsy, and if they are aligned incorrectly, or they get smudged the corelings can break in and eat the people and horses. However, in the desert regions, the people there have a different philosophy. They keep their women and children safe, but of a night the men hunt the corelings, and if they are martyred when hunting they are accorded honour and special rewards in the afterlife.

Age is a legacy in this novel. The story goes that once there were no corelings, and when they came, humanity was lead in battle against them by the Deliverer, the painted man. There were large battles and eventually the corelings were sent back to the core. I have to say here, that this whole narrative reminds me of Ar-Pharazon’s battle against Sauron in The Second Age in The Lord of the Rings world (I can’t remember which book it was LOL). In The Painted Man back story, after the corelings were defeated, the various city states tried to claim the Deliverer as their own, so they could rule the land. The Deliverer grew tired of this and disappeared. A lot of mysticism surrounds this fact, and it is said he will one day return. As the immediacy of the horror of the corelings faded, humanity started the age of science and forgot about the importance of warding, and forgot the combat wards, amongst others. And so the corelings returned to wreak havoc on the now unsuspecting and unprotected mankind. Scattered all over the landscape are ruins from ages past, in which Messengers dig around in these looking for useful wards that have been forgotten in time. Messengers, as their name suggests, also connects the scattered and dwindling communities. The Jongleurs ride with them, entertaining the children, and sharing (reinforcing) the stories that make up their culture – such as the ones about Deliverer.

The three main characters, despite starting life in a normal existence in small close knit communities, have a traumatic event happen in their lives, which makes them aware that there is more to life than what they were raised to know. So Arlen becomes a Messenger, Leesha becomes healer, and Rojer becomes a Jongleur. I can’t really write more about this book without giving things away, but suffice to say, it is a very riveting story that I loved both times I read it. I bought the sequel, and I am looking forwards to reading it and finding out what happens next! Both Bonnie and I got review copies of The Painted Man through and were quite impressed with Peter V Brett and this book.  I really can’t wait to start reading its sequel, The Desert Spear.

5/5 Stars

Dark Tower movie deal being negotiated

OMG!!! It looks like they are making a movie based on Stephen King's Dark Tower series! There has been rumours, but now there are names! I have to admit that I only read The Gunslinger so far. This is because my friend Sami owns them, and I moved to Sydney and couldn't borrow the rest. They are on my "Will Buy It One Day" list, and I guess that day will be soon... I hope they have the same awesome covers at Galaxy that she has. I remember how much I loved The Gunslinger, and also The Talisman (which is obscurely connected to The Dark Tower series), so I think I will definitely be interested about seeing the movie. Of those books in or related to The Dark Tower series, I've only read The Gunslinger and The Talisman. I guess I need to get my act together and buy the rest. Here is the article I was reading:

Source: Cinema

It’s been rumored for years and now it’s finally happening. Deadline say Stephen King’s masterful fantasy series “The Dark Tower” is headed for theaters. As part of a deal being worked on at Universal (but not yet completed) the seven books which comprise the Dark Tower story will be condensed into three movies, in a script written by Akiva Goldsman and to be directed by Ron Howard.

The deal is also said to include a package which will result in a Dark Tower TV series, though how they’d pull that off in addition to the movies is a complete mystery. Will the three films cover only three of the books, leaving the TV series to cover the rest? Or will they combine all seven books into three films and then create a TV series which picks up where the final "Dark Tower" book leaves off? We won't know until the deal is finalized and Howard starts talking. King is reportedly working on an eigth novel which tackles a different storyline from "The Dark Tower", that could be possible fodder for the TV series as well.

What’s clear here is that, however they split it up, done properly The Dark Tower could be the next Lord of the Rings. King’s books follow a wandering Gunslinger named Roland, the last of his kind, as he wanders across dimensions and other worlds on an endless quest to find the Dark Tower, a fabled building said to be a nexus between worlds. The stories are massively epic in scope and cross over all sorts of different genres. It’s more than just fantasy, it’s science fiction, it’s horror, it’s gut-wrenching drama, and it’s part old-school shoot-em-up Western. The character of Roland is in theory more of a wandering knight than a cowboy, but in appearance and disposition, it’s as if Clint Eastwood wandered off the set of one his classic Wild West tales and into a Stephen King novel. This could be huge.

I say could be, because there’s one problem. His name is Ron Howard. Ron is a fine choice if you’re looking for sappy, schmaltzy Oscar-bait but it’s hard to imagine him tackling the darker, more horrific elements of The Dark Tower with any success. Earlier in his career I might have had more faith in his ability to do this. The guy who made Backdraft and Apollo 13 seemed like he might have something tense and edgy somewhere inside him. But I’m not sure I believe the director of Cinderella Man and A Beautiful Mind is capable of anything like this. I hope I’m wrong because done right, The Dark Tower could be brilliant; an epic, unforgettable Oscar winner.

At one point JJ Abrams was supposed to be developing The Dark Tower into a feature film but back in November that fell through. Now it’s about to end up in the hands of Ron Howard. We’ll let you know as soon as this is confirmed as a done deal.

What do you think? Is this something you would want to see, or are you worried they will screw up story lines, characters and all the other things we bibliophiles worry about when our beloveds are converted into a different medium?

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