talkstowolves: Toby is my favorite changeling P.I. She should be yours too. (rosemary and rue)
A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire is officially out in stores today! All of you folks interested in urban fantasy and fairy tales should go out and buy it. Now. Don't worry, I'll wait. If you're in a Barnes & Noble, look for the standee! If you haven't yet gotten your hands on Rosemary and Rue, the first book of the series, go ahead and buy them both.

Oh, yes, my friends. They are that good.

Let's steal a peek at the book blurb from Seanan's website, shall we?

After spending fourteen years lost to both the fae and mortal worlds, only to be dragged back into Faerie by the murder of someone close to her, October "Toby" Daye really just wants to spend a little time getting her footing. She's putting her life back together. Unfortunately, this means going back to work for Duke Sylvester Torquill of Shadowed Hills, doing her duty as a knight errant. That isn't the sort of thing that exactly lends itself to a quiet existence, and before she knows it, Toby's back on the road, heading for the County of Tamed Lightning in Fremont, California to check on Sylvester's niece, January.

Things in Tamed Lightning turn out to be a lot stranger than they seemed at first glance, and Toby's talent for finding trouble isn't doing her any favors. With Quentin—a young foster from Sylvester's Court—in tow, and the stakes getting higher all the time, it's up to Toby to solve the mystery of Tamed Lightning, or face a failure whose cost will be too high for anyone to pay.

Mystery! Suspense! Danger! Also: dryads! Bannicks! Cait sidhe! And probably more coffee than you can shake a stick at.

And, now, an endorsement from my cats:

Tiger Jack fights off a nap in order to make sure you're not thinking of stealing his book.

+4 more Cat Endorsements behind the cut... )

* Just to reassure you all that I wasn't torturing my cats by taking these pictures: Kaylee is opening her mouth in this picture in preparation to begin washing herself. She's not actually pissed. ;) Also, while I gave Kaylee the book in the latter pictures, Tiger Jack actually snuggled up to it by himself later in the day when I took the top pictures. Seriously, he likes to dream of Tybalt.

This entry was originally posted over at Livejournal on March 2nd, 2010. You can comment here or there.
talkstowolves: Toby is my favorite changeling P.I. She should be yours too. (rosemary and rue)


The world of Faerie never disappeared: it merely went into hiding, continuing to exist parallel to our own. Secrecy is the key to Faerie's survival—but no secret can be kept forever, and when the fae and mortal worlds collide, changelings are born. Half-human, half-fae, outsiders from birth, these second-class children of Faerie spend their lives fighting for the respect of their immortal relations. Or, in the case of October "Toby" Daye, rejecting it completely. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the fae world, retreating into a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, Faerie has other ideas.

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose, one of the secret regents of the San Francisco Bay Area, pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby is forced to resume her old position as knight errant to the Duke of Shadowed Hills and begin renewing old alliances that may prove her only hope of solving the mystery...before the curse catches up with her.

Still not convinced to rush out and purchase the inaugural installment of the October Daye series? Then read a free sample of the text on Seanan's website!

You can also read any number of reviews by checking out the reviews tag over at [personal profile] seanan_mcguire, not to mention the ones already present on the Amazon page.

In the California area and looking for a release party to attend? Look no farther than this Livejournal entry! (I do envy you locals: amazing things will be present at some of these releases and I'm not just talking about Seanan.)

Don't miss out on the awesome icons and banners by [profile] raelee, or my Toby Wicked Girls icon.

You probably aren't wondering how keen on this day I am by now, but I'm going to show you anyway! ;)

Behold, the visual evidence! )

My own review of the novel will be forthcoming after I have a chance to reread it!
talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (Default)
In celebration of having two pages of my paper (pseudo-)written, I meme! (Blame Props to [personal profile] dulcinbradbury.)

"This can be a quick one. Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes."

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman (yes, all of it)
Dream Work by Mary Oliver
The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen by Hans Christian Andersen
Winter Rose by Patricia A. McKillip
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Wolfwalker by Tara K. Harper

No explication. For, as the White Rabbit said, "Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!" (At least I'm just facing a grad school professor tomorrow and now the Queen of Hearts. Although I'm also facing two final exams and having to write another paper, so maybe it is equivalent to that dastardly personage.)
talkstowolves: We love stories that subvert the expected. Icon inspired by In the Night Garden, Valente. (not that kind of story)
Recently, I picked up [ profile] jimhines' The Stepsister Scheme on [ profile] seanan_mcguire's mother's recommendation.

Yes, really.

I sadly don't have time to give you a full review. Instead, I bring you three factual statements regarding my experience reading The Stepsister Scheme:

1. I was uncertain regarding his treatment of the fairy tale heroines at first, yet not only pleased with them by the end but also emotionally moved by their journeys.

2. The book is compulsively readable: there were several late nights where sacrificing sleep so I could find out what happened next seemed much more sensible than getting enough sleep for classes.

3. While reading, especially after the quest entered Fairytown, I often found myself thinking, "This is like some of my fondly-remembered childhood Saturday morning cartoons. ... ...except dirtier."

Thumbs up! Go buy it!
talkstowolves: This perfectly characterizes my books in terms of scale, but the books-as-bookmarks thing doesn't happen often. Really.  (books as bookmarks)
Here is a partial listing of the books I have culled from my (and Andy's) collection-- otherwise known as the "MOSTLY $5 or Less Book Sale!" *

Most books are in good condition, with a few excellents scattered throughout. If a book is in worse condition, I'll let you know when you contact me about it.

Buyer pays shipping, which we'll determine when you've made your selection.

I accept Paypal and I also except barter-- if you have something shiny to trade for a few books, let me know!

If you're interested in anything, let me know ASAP. I'm going to be taking these books down to a used book store on Saturday.


This way to the sale... )

* It used to be just the "$5 or Less Book Sale!" but then Andy handed me some more valuable books, so now it's the "MOSTLY $5 or Less Book Sale!"

** And with another purchase would be nice.
talkstowolves: Books + tea, books + coffee, either way = bliss.  (reading is a simple pleasure)
Ever wanted to read Farthing by Jo Walton, an alternate history whodunit about Britain's slide into fascism after agreeing to peace with Nazi Germany?

Well, now you can. Tor is introducing a "science fiction and fantasy website not quite like any you've seen before" that will apparently be full of engaging and interactive content, including free book downloads. Hie you to their website to sign up and download Farthing for free.
talkstowolves: Books + tea, books + coffee, either way = bliss.  (reading is a simple pleasure)
I just finished reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Surprisingly for only the third time in my life, considering how much I love Hurston's writing and this story in particular.

Although I think this book contains some Truths, I must admit it's a woman's book. That and the fact that a lot of the book is in a specific dialect seems to be preventing my students (mostly male) from reading it and reading it well. Except for the smart girl. She's done just fine.

Sigh. Anyway, while I go off and make the final quiz, allow me to leave you with some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men.

Now, women forget all those things they don't want to remember, and remember everything they don't want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly."

"So the beginning of this was a woman and she had come back from burying the dead. Not the dead of sick and ailing with friends at the pillow and the feet. She had come back from the sodden and the bloated; the sudden dead, their eyes flung wide open in judgment."

"Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom was in the branches."

"She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a marriage! She had been summoned to behold a revelation. Then Janie felt a pain remorseless sweet that left her limp and languid."

"There are years that ask questions and years that answer."

"She knew things that nobody had ever told her. For instance, the words of the trees and the wind. She often spoke to falling seeds and said, 'Ah hope you fall on soft ground' because she had heard seeds saying that to each other as they passed. She knew the world was a stallion rolling in the blue pasture of ether. She knew that God tore down the old world every evening and built a new one by sun-up. It was wonderful to see it take form with the sun and emerge from the gray dust of its making. The familiar people and things had failed her so she hung over the gate and looked up the road towards way off. She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie's first dream was dead, so she became a woman."

"They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God."

"Love is lak de sea. It's uh movin' thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it's different with every shore."

"Two things everybody's got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin' fuh theyselves."

"The light in her hand was like a spark of sun-stuff washing her face in fire."

"She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see."
talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (Default)
My students have all been poopy-mouths this morning, which has been most irritating in an amusing fashion. They insisted that cursing is too much a part of their language for them to ever turn it off. I told them that was poppycock. If I can turn it off for school-- let me just say here that my first word was "shit" and I have difficulty going any length of time in everyday conversation without some casual profanity-- then they surely can as well. They comforted themselves by saying they'd only have to watch their language this year (the seniors), because college professors don't care. I tried to explain something about polite society and having the courtesy not to use profanity recklessly around people who don't, but they didn't care about that. ::shakes her head::

Many of the kids around here have been sick for the past couple of weeks: crap-in-the-lungs sick, with lots of chunky wet coughs. I have been bravely sticking to the belief that it just wasn't going to get me. So I am bravely trying to ignore the fact that today my lungs feel heavier and I've started coughing (just a tiny bit, really, and it's dry so far!). However, I am also intelligent, so I will be climbing back into bed when I get home for a nap and some warmth. And picking up some of the old UltraVitamin C.

I can feel what little energy I had just draining away as I wait for Southern Literature to begin. By the time my class starts, I may not have the strength to wrestle them into discussing Their Eyes Were Watching God. Maybe I'll have us do a read-and-discuss: read passages from the book aloud and just see where they take us. I love this novel ever so much, so that could be quite soothing.
talkstowolves: Books + tea, books + coffee, either way = bliss.  (reading is a simple pleasure)
It is my bedtime! Time to lay down and finish reading George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin and get some sleep to face the cretins lovely schoolchildren on the morrow.

We finished the day at school looking not quite so grim on the enrollment front. And Andy and I have reached an accord on what we need to do regarding this school-mess, so I'm currently back in the find-a-replacement-second-job mode now rather than the argh-quit-now-find-new-primary-immediately! mode. Not that understanding what we're doing and why makes me any more enthusiastic about my current responsibilities.

I have decided that, novel-wise, the children get to read the following this semester:

Southern Literature
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

World Literature
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Luckily, I've taught three of those books before and so should be able to use most of the activities, quizzes, and exams that I created for them last year.

Hm, I also need a book for my Writing & Composition class, however. I need something that'll be relatively easy for them to understand but also chock-full of material good for teaching literary terms. [ profile] lapsus_lingue, [ profile] hrimcealde, any ideas? Right now, I'm considering an Edgar Allen Poe anthology.

I created my first experimental (for me) dish of the new year: a beef and broccoli stir-fry incorporating baby corn and shimeji mushrooms. All the ingredients turned out marvelously, of great flavor, especially when seasoned by soy sauce; however, the meat itself turned out dry. I'm going to have to figure out some way to prevent that next time. (Less cook time? The meat was pretty much done when I added all the vegetables.)

I know this is elementary cooking: but everyone must start somewhere!

And, finally, in writing news:

I managed to make word count tonight and even take almost 100 words off my owed wordcount. I'm calling this good enough for now-- especially since I was only allowing myself to work until bedtime. A few surprising things happened in the story and I named my pirate (space)ship!

Today's Goal: 750 words, owing 1124 words for previous shortages.
Goal met? Met at 846 words, leaving me owing 1028 words.
Reason for stopping: Bedtime!

Project: Short story, entitled "Green Dream."
Status of project: Carin is on the transport ship of glass and mirrors, ascending into the cold void of space to rejoin her crew aboard the Golden Bough.
talkstowolves: Books + tea, books + coffee, either way = bliss.  (reading is a simple pleasure)
So, I'm gloomily looking up discussion questions that I can use to turn into some kind of game in class tomorrow. I'm completely unenthused about this activity as I know that none of my students have bothered to do their reading.

Then it happens: I happen upon something so entertaining that it actually makes me LOL.

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in one minute... )

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