Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bargain Book Bonanza (28): Before Green Gables

 Welcome to Bargain Book Bonanza!

A book haul linky party for bargain loving bookworms!

Want to join the party? Just visit the Bargain Book Bonanza page for the particulars.

Lesa is hosting this week!

Howdy, bargain loving kindred spirits! I have such a sweet little book to show you this week.

See, isn't the cover as sweet as can be?

And it is new! Yes, brand spankin' new! Didn't want you to think I was only obsessed with used bargain books. Oh no, I am an equal opportunity bargain book buyer.

Now, this book did cost a bit more than the one dollar each discounted paperbacks that I usually pick up at Books-a-Million (look for them in future BBB posts) but considering that this book is trade paperback size and the original price was fifteen dollars, $3.97 is quite the bargain. 

Really, I just couldn't resist. Sweet cover aside, Before Green Gables is a prequel to Anne of Green Gables!  

What kindred spirit of Anne could resist that?!

*giggle* I know you bookworms with a phobia for prequels/sequels written by anyone other than the original author are cringing right now. 

  Not me. Anne of Green Gables may be one of my top five beloved rereads but I'm not afraid to give this book a try. 

And of course, I don't expect this book to be a perfect reflection of L. M. Montgomery's style (that would be silly).  I am just excited to read about Anne's life before she was adopted by Marilla and Mathew-- even though it will likely have lots of sad bits. 

This prequel introduces Anne's parents who died when she was a baby-- and remember the references Anne made about the horrid foster homes she lived in before Green Gables? No doubt all the particulars will be revealed in Before Green Gables.  

So my lovely bookish ones, are you fans of Anne? And if so, would you read this book?
If you have already read this book, did you like it?

If you have a bargain book, please link up and share. We love to brag on bargains!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gifts for teenage girls

Hello all,
Now I think you realise that Christmas is just around the corner, whether you want it to be or not. So I'm just going to dive straight into one of the hardest tasks of the season: gift-giving. For teenage girls, to be exact.

I have researched the topic a fair bit and come up with a list of universal present ideas (for example, if you have a very alternative teenage girl this list may not work for you). These are some items I would love to receive/have received and loved. 

1. Magazine subscription

 A failsafe idea, especially if it's only for six months. My all-time favourite magazine is Teen Vogue, I read it like it's the bible. I think most teenage girls would. Here's the website!

2. Books! Lots of books!

(From bottom: Emma by Jane Austen, The Clique by Lisi Harrison, The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, another Clique book)

This little pile is some great girly reads with a bit of substance, so you don't feel like your brains are going to fall out of your head with every paragraph. And Emma, of course. I have been reading it lately and the plot is not too hardcore for my likings. Use this only for avid reader teenage girls.

3. Cosmetics

(Clockwise from bottom: Burt's Bees lip balm, lip shimmer and deep pore scrub, Prestige Soft Blend Kohl eyeliner in brown, Lucas' Pawpaw ointment, Palmers' Cocoa Butter)

Teenage girls love cosmetics. End of story. Not all of them like the same ones, though, so these are some general products I use for every day. And pretty much every other girl who goes to my school. 

TIP: When in doubt, go sample size! The smaller the better.

4. More books...

(From bottom: Fashionista: A century of style icons by Simone Werle, P.S. I made this by Erica Domesek, Fashion Illustration by Kolon books, What Shall I Wear Today by Fifi Lapin)

...Well this is a book blog. These are fashion/diy/hobby type books, not quite as universal as the other ones but I adore them. Find a hobby, find a book!

Hope these tips come in handy and you stress-less during the holiday season! Isabella X

Monday, October 24, 2011

Paperback Partners

Do you read more than one book at a time?  I do, and sometimes it works and sometimes it just doesn't.  Recently I coincidentally happened to pair two tomes perfectly.  

My rousing cries of 'Vive la France' could be heard for kilometers.  Or at least the dogs came running....London doesn't speak French, but Paris does, of course. (Yes, my dogs are named after European cities.  Next I want a sausage dog named Vienna.)

Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novel, Ripley Under Water (fiction) was a bit disturbing to me, but I couldn't stop reading.  It was like being stuck in a traffic jam you know was caused by an accident, and, when you finally draw even with it being unable to look away despite your best intentions.  

Set in France and francophone Magreb, the prose is lyrical, with references to  smirking camels and yellow silk sofas and Brahms and the pattern of light reflected from a pond.

Ripley is concerned about the domestic business of a beautiful life--sketching, cutting flowers from the garden, playing the harpsichord, planning dinner, preparing for house guests and discussing the neighbours' lack of taste.  To his elegant French wife he describes with a shudder the decor of Pritchards next door as 'Style rustique. From the supermarket. Truly heavy.' 

He's also concerned about getting blamed for an old murder he thought was long buried (punny, eh?).  And so he ruthlessly, coldly goes about protecting himself and his adored wife.

I read it at the same time as Pardon My French  (non-fiction) by Charles Timoney, who absolutely charmed me and even taught me a thing or two.  An Englishman in Paris, he works in a French firm and shares what he learns about the culture and language.  

Now, without blowing my own horn, my French is pretty good and I've spent quite a bit of time in a French family.  So I'm pretty confident (read smug) in these matters.  What a surprise when Timoney both entertained and enlightened me in great measure. 

So, wherever you live you can grab these two books, pour yourself a glass of red wine or brew a pot of tisane and loose yourself in a francophile world.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wishing For Books! By Adele, Our Newest Contributor!

Hello! I am Adele. I am 10 years old. You may have seen my guest review: English Roses by Madonna. I am extremely happy to become an official contributor!

 So, here is my first official Baja post.

I am soooooo excited at the moment!

My favourite author (or at least ONE of my favourites), Lauren Child, has a new book out!

You see, Clarice Bean is a book I am absolutely CRAZY about, and in the books Clarice is CRAZY about a book called Ruby Redfort. Clarice Bean has TV shows, badges and all sorts of things about Ruby Redfort.

Lauren Child FINALLY made a book of the book within the book! It's called, 'Ruby Redfort, Look Into My Eyes'.  I collect Lauren Child's books and I just have to have it!

Another one of my favourites is Alice Miranda by Jacqueline Harvey.

 I have all the books apart from that last one with the green cover. Its a new one and I'm trying to find it. 

So many books to buy!


Are there any books you are wishing for?  Please share. And to see more wishlists, please visit these linky parties:

Wishlist Wednesday hosted by Pen to Paper
On My Wishlist hosted by Book Chick City (Saturday link-up)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bargain Book Bonanza (27): More Newbery Books!

 Welcome to Bargain Book Bonanza!

A book haul linky party for bargain loving bookworms!

Want to join the party? Just visit the Bargain Book Bonanza page for the particulars.

Lesa is hosting this week!

Welcome, bargain loving friends!

If you've been thinking: That lazy, Lesa! Where is BBB? Didn't she photograph all her bargain books for future BBB posts into infinity?

Well, yes and yes. I am lazy and I did photograph all my bargain books. But the computer had to be wiped. Thank goodness, my photos are safe on an external harddrive, whew! Still such a pain since everything had to be reloaded including my photo editing programs ect. Hub handles all that and it takes awhile (he is on the lazy side too).

Anyhoo, I'm now back in BBB biz.

So this week selection adds to my growing collection of Newbery winners and honor books...

Two paperbacks (.20 each) and one hardback (.50) from Goodwill 

Have you read any of these?

The only one I've read is Charlotte's Web. It is a fave from my childhood and I can't wait to read it to my little boy.

UH OH! He just ran in, saw the photo and said: Charlotte's Web! My teacher read that to us!

That is okay. He enjoys a reread as much as his mama and I'm thrilled he has such a wonderful bookloving teacher. I liked my first grade teacher but she didn't read cool books like that to the class. Did yours?  Actually, I only remember the school librarian reading picture books to the class. Hmm... I'm thinking my early education was deprived! 

If you have a bargain book, please link up and share. We love to brag on bargains!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In Which An Intrepid Reader Falls Into Another Bookish Adventure

Help! I'm boxed in and can't get out!

This is the view from my desk at school. Can you guess what has me totally boxed in? 

Need a clue?

  Here is a peek through the crack right in front of my chair.

Did you guess....

Scholastic Book Fair!

In my room!

What luck!

And don't worry, I'm not really trapped. The cases have wheels so I can slip in and out of my little nook with ease.

Did I have so many bookish adventures before book blogging? I don't know... maybe I just notice them now. 

And you better believe, I appreciate and revel in all bookish delights that come my way.

But who to thank? The Universe? Book Gods? Book Fairies?

 Again, I don't know but:

 Thank you, bestowers of all bookish delights! Bestow, bestow, bestow, knock yourselves out!


There were only two adult novels on offer and one was...

I snagged it for lunchtime reading in my little hidey hole and it is AAH-MAAZING!! Have you read it? I wanted to read it before seeing the movie and the characters are so engaging that I can't wait to read the rest.  

I read four chapters and left Minny hiding in a bathroom in a panic! I was so tempted to buy the book but it cost sixteen dollars. SIXTEEN DOLLARS! For a paperback! Trade size, but really, that is enough to make a BBB girl pass out! 

So I scurried to the county library. No luck. It's on hold for someone else. Waah!

Tomorrow, after work, I will check the library in the adjacent county.   

Did you hear that, Bestowers of Bookish Delights? 

The Help. Adjacent county library. Tomorrow.

Thank you.


As a bookblogger, do you find yourself falling into more bookish adventures since you began blogging?  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Short Stories on Wednesday: King of Creepy Edition

Short Stories on Wednesday is hosted by the lovely Risa of Bread Crumb Reads.  Click the text link to visit the brand new Bread Crumb Reads on Wordpress. Click the button to visit the old Bread Crumb Reads on Blogger. (but it really isn't old)

I'm so excited to finally be joining in Risa's celebration of short stories. I love love love short stories. As a child, I read them frequently. As an adult, not so much but I do miss reading them. 

During this year of bargain book buying like a wild woman,  I've acquired several interesting and eclectic (genre to literary) anthologies that I've been longing to read.  Since it is October, I decided to start with the King of Creepy.

Skeleton Crew, first published in 1985, is King's second anthology. It contains one novella and twenty-one short stories.

Sunday, I read three selections in the car coming home from a long weekend getaway. It was a five hour roadtrip so I could have read many more stories but three was plenty of creep for one sitting. 

By the way, I'm not a wimp. I am actually a backsliding Horror addict. And I blame my return to the genre on reading the always terrific and sometimes horroric blogs Shredded Cheddar and Serendipity's Library. 

So which short stories did I read? 

 Cain Rose Up 

This six page shorty, written in 1968, is about a nutter sniping people from his college dorm window.

Sounds like something off the current nightly news, doesn't it.  Scary!

 The sniper's attitude and negative way of describing other people is very reminiscent of Holden Caulfield but there aren't enough pages for him to get too annoying.  I really thought the story might be a little tip of the hat to Salinger but there is no information from the author about this story in the book's Notes.  Wikipedia states that the story might have been inspired by the 1966 sniper shootings at the University of Texas.  

(I'm from Texas but don't recall knowing about that mass murder. If you are into true crime, the article at Wiki is interesting. The guy left sane sounding notes, seemingly bewildered by his own behavior and requesting his own autopsy. He had a brain tumor.) 

 Anyway, back to this story.  The sniper justifies his rampage to a poster of Humphrey Bogart (yeah, he's nuts) with an interpretation of the Cain and Abel story.  After all, God isn't a vegetarian. God wants meat.

Here There Be Tygers

This five pager was also written in 1968. It is about a hungry tiger in a school basement bathroom. Is there really a tiger in the bathroom? Is it just the fantasy of a third grade boy who is constantly targeted and embarrassed by a mean teacher?  

I don't know but in the Notes, King says his first grade teacher was pretty scary. 

So fellow teachers: Stay out of basement bathrooms and whatever you do... do not use the word urinate in reference to a student!

The Monkey

This short story from 1980 is more of a longy at thirty eight pages and OooOOooOOooo... Can you guess which creepy monkey this is about? 

This broken monkey toy refuses to be thrown away and when it claps it's cymbals... yes, the cymbals clap even though it is broken... so when the cymbals clap... are you on the edge of your seat? 

Okay, when the cymbals clap... terrible things happen. Mwahahaha... You didn't really think I would reveal evil monkey deeds, did you?

I don't want no monkeys after me!

 In the Notes, King says this story was inspired in New York City by a platoon of wind-up monkeys for sale on the street, all bending, grinning and clapping... and looking very scary.

All three of these stories are good creepy little tales. Which is my favorite? Hmm.. Cain Rose Up is scary because random shootings by crazy people are real.  Here There Be Tygers is creepy in a folktale urban legend sort of way. The Monkey is traditional horror with supernatural evil.

I enjoyed them all but The Monkey is my favorite.

Do you have a thing for short stories? Any particular author or genre? Please share. And do head over to Bread Crumb Reads to check out all the other short story devotees' weekly selections.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Celebrating Autumn with Books!

Yeehaw tookie tookie, bloggy friends! Lesa here! I can't tell you how thrilled I am to see the back of September-- it is my one busy and hectic month at school. 

And I'm plumb giddy that autumn has finally arrived. Aren't you? Just think: cooler weather to play outside and work on outdoor projects, festivals, fairs,  fall foliage, Halloween, fewer bugs. Yep, autumn is a wonderful thing!

And don't fret bookish ones, I'm not so giddy that I've mixed up which of my blogs this post is for SO one of the loveliest things about autumn are chilly mornings to cozy up with a cuppa and a good book.  

Can I get an 'Amen, sister!'. 

 Thank you... thank you.. see my wits are intact. Hey,  I heard that snicker.

I do have wits... I do... I do! Silly wits but wits nonetheless... nonethemore either but I make do. And did I mention I was giiid-deee?

Okay, okay,  sillies are contained... back to autumn and books.  

Isn't this absolutely loverly...

I've shared bookish decor vignettes before but this seasonal beauty may be my favorite.

Are you excited about autumn? What are some of your favorite autumn activities?


Even though September is never a good bloggy month for me due to school, I've  still managed to read some good books and fall into bookish adventures which I hope to share with you soon. 

And I even photographed every single bargain book waiting in the wings for a BBB feature-- now that was a major coup right there. So am I ahead of the BBB game? No, after my photo frenzy,  I went wild at the county library book sale... tsk tsk tsk. 

Right now, I'm reading three books.  A slow savor of Wind In The Willows and The Scarlett Letter and.... the latest Pendergast thriller!! Not sure if I can savor the Pendergast thriller. It is getting good so I may have to gobble it up!

Happy autumn reading days, book besties! Enjoy and savor!  (but if you gobble, that is okay too, I understand completely)

edit: Ha-- my wits were wacky last night. I accidently posted this on one of Izzy's blank drafts. So, if you were confused earlier by the  'posted by Isabella' , that was just an error on my part. She bears no blame for this silly post.   
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