Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Doll Bones by Holly Black: Mini Book Review

Doll Bones
by Holly Black
Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-141-696-3981
Suggested Ages: 10+
Buy from Indigo

Description: Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity

Mini Book Review: A delightfully dark  and creepy tale, perfect for the more sophisticated middle grader.  As an adult reading it reminded me of that time in your life where you are still a child but things are becoming more complicated as you move into the teenage years.  I was hooked into this one right away and didn't want to put it down.  I hate to invoke the term "coming of age" but it really is the heart of the story.  In fact coming of age --  meets creepy china doll (ok creepy and china doll - same thing - man those toys always creep the hell out of me)  really sums it up. All of the characters are realistic and I really enjoyed the fact that the parents were not caricatures.  A nice quick read that will hook the right kid..  A truly imaginative and adventurous story of friendship, growing up all wrapped up with a mysterious ghost story involving a china doll.  Man wish there were more of these types of stories when I was that age. Also, Black really has a gift when it comes to setting a mood - felt like I was living the adventure with Zach, Poppy and Alice.  One last thing -- excellent Librarian character who was also not a caricature.

Favorite Quote

"There was a kind of quiet that hung over the world in the middle of the night, as though there was no one else awake anywhere. It felt ripe with magic and endless possiblitiy."

4 Dewey's
Jenn H sent this to me from OLA

Monday, July 29, 2013

Awaken (Abandon #3) by Meg Cabot

Awaken (Abandon #3)

by Meg Cabot
ISBN: 978-0-545-28412-7
Suggested Ages: 12+ (mild, mild sexuality)
Buy from Indigo

Description: Death has her in his clutches. She doesn’t want him to let go.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera knew by accepting the love of John Hayden, she’d be forced to live forever in the one place she’s always dreaded most: the Underworld. The sacrifice seemed worth it, though, because it meant she could be with the boy she loves.

But now her happiness — and safety — are threatened, all because the Furies have discovered that John has broken one of their strictest rules: He revived a human soul.

If the balance between life and death isn’t fixed, both the Underworld and Pierce’s home back on earth will be wiped away. But there’s only one way to restore order. Someone has to die.

The Good Stuff
  •  Fabulous ending to the series, it worked. I was a little disappointed with book two, but this restored my faith in Cabot
  •  Lots more humour than in the first two which made me really happy
  •  Love the secondary characters
  • Sexuality was dealt with very tastefully
  • Love that it deals with Greek Mythology - especially the Persephone myth 
  • More quotes from Dante's Inferno 
  • Fast paced 
  • John has developed nicely, not so much of the stalkerish controlling John from Abandon
  • Great cover (Yes I know you shouldn't judge a book by a cover - but if the cover isn't fabulous, I usually overlook it)
  • Pierce is finally growing a set (thank goodness!)
  • Dialogue is delightful as always
  • Many issues wrapped up but still leaves it open to further develop story
  • God I loved the scene with John and Pierce's parents -- made me snort with laughter

The Not so Good Stuff
  • It's been so long since I read the second book, I had a hard time remembering what happened and who everyone was
  • Many of the adults are useless (I know I know I should let it go) or uncaring
  • A wee bit repetitive but not as noticeable as in book 1 and 2

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"It's especially upsetting because, in a lot of ways, my family has turned out to be like the seawall Isla Huesto's community leaders built in order to protect its low-lying areas from flooding: They're not very reliable. Some of them, in fact, have turned out to be made from inferior material. They crumbled and broke apart instead of doing what they were supposed to do: keep their loved ones from drowning."

"He opened his lips beneath mine, let out a faint moaning sound, and lifted his hands to grip my waist, which just showed that all boys - even ones possessed by Greek personifications of death - could be shockingly stupid sometimes."

"If enough people go out of their way to help someone else, the spirit of kindness eventually breaks through the darkness, the way sunshine breaks through clouds after a storm and allows even more kind acts to follow."

4 Dewey's

I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

The Universe Versus Alex Woods
by Gavin Extence
Hachette Book Group
ISBN: 9780316246576
Buy from Indigo

Description: A rare meteorite struck Alex Woods when he was ten years old, leaving scars and marking him for an extraordinary future. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, Alex hasn't had the easiest childhood.
But when he meets curmudgeonly widower Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend. Someone who teaches him that that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make it count.
So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the front seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing ...
Introducing a bright young voice destined to charm the world, The Universe Versus Alex Woods is a celebration of curious incidents, astronomy and astrology, the works of Kurt Vonnegut and the unexpected connections that form our world. 

The Good Stuff
  • Totally unique
  • Sweet, clever and wonderfully endearing
  • You will totally fall in love with Alex and his supporting cast of unique and and intriguing secondary characters
  • Enjoyed the scenes between Alex and Dr Weir - loved the way she conversed with a 10 yr old boy
  • Dark and witty humour
  • Actually learned a lot while reading and it was done in such a simple and matter of a fact way and it made you want to learn more - yet never made you feel like you were stupid
  • Perfect book for a book club discussion, so many fascinating discussions to be had - assisted suicide, mental illness, death penalty, meaning of life, religion and so much more
  • This is one of the Indigo recommends titles at work, and usually I dislike anything that gets a label of any kind, but the description intrigued me, and glad I decided to pick it up - this will definitely be a title that I will be selling to the right customer
  • You will have a sudden desire to read some Kurt Vonnegut - and no I have never read anything by him
  • The relationships between the characters are the heart of the story.  Alex himself is a delightful character, but its his relationships with the secondary characters that make this novel shine
  • There is a Star Wars reference to explain asteroids - yes, I am that much of a geek
  • Bang on analysis on the crime of being different
  • Wise
  • Ranks Librarians up with Neurologists and Astronomers - hell that is enough for me to buy the book
  • Loved Alex's reasoning behind his decision to give his meteorite to the Natural History Museum - the analogy using his cat is positively brilliant and heart warming

The Not so Good Stuff
    •  I wanted more
    • Jumps around a wee bit and I found the first 20 pages a little off - but once you get past that its positively brilliant
    • Do you have any idea how hard it was to choose only 3 quotes for this review - so I just gave up and gave you a few more examples why you have to pick up this book right away
     Favorite Quotes/Passages

    "Dr Enderby said that an epileptic seizure was like a thunderstorm taking place in the brain - a storm that temporarily knocks out all the communication links so that any messages from the outside world get either lost or scrambled. All that's left is your brain talking to itself."

    "Rest assured: by the time I was ten, I had managed to find out what my mother meant. She meant that as far as our family was concerned, only the cat had a sex life." 

    "She doesn't think that God sounds like such a great boss.  Not the way he's presented in the Bible, anyway. She thinks that if she'd been an angel, she'd probably have quit too."

    "Kid, I'm American. We've been suspicious of intellectuals for hundreds of years."

    "Yes, I see. Still, not all scars are bad, Alex. Some are worth hanging on too, if you understand what I mean."

     Who Should/Shoudn't Read
    • This is the type of story that needs to be slowly savored not rushed through
    • Not for those who need something fast pac
    •  For those who enjoy something just a little bit different
    4.75 Dewey's

    I picked this up at Chapter's Shawnessy

    Summer Days, Starry Nights by Vikki VanSickle

    Summer Days, Starry Nights
    by Vikki VanSickle
    Scholastic Canada Ltd.
    ISBN: 978-1-4431-1991-7
    Suggested Ages: 9-12
    Buy from Indigo

    Description: A famous rock star, a family secret and a boy with a great smile make for one unforgettable summer.

    It's 1962, and thirteen-year-old Reenie Starr comes alive the minute guests begin to arrive at her family's summer resort. She dreams of the day she can run Sandy Shores, and she spends her time helping out at the resort, swimming, climbing trees, and singing under the stars.

    One day, Reenie's mother announces that she thinks the resort could use some entertainment. She invites Gwen, her best friend's almost-grown daughter, to come and teach a dance class. Although Gwen seems sad and remote, Reenie's thrilled to have her there.

    As Reenie starts to learn more about the world beyond Sandy Shores, she comes up with a plan that could really put it on the map. She also finds herself caught between the simpler world of her childhood and all of the wonderful new discoveries (boys) and heartaches (boys) that growing up can bring. Reenie thought she wanted Sandy Shores to never change, but after this summer nothing will ever be the same again.

    The Good Stuff
    • Fabulous opening prologue, hooked me in right away
    • Honest and real, just the type of story that girls in this age group want to read
    • Reminds me so much of Judy Blume (huge compliment)
    • You can't help but fall in love with Reenie 
    • Truly captures the essence and heart of a girl on the cusp of being a young adult 
    • I could feel, taste and see  Sandy Shores, it reminded me a little of these cottages that my friend, Cathy Payne's, family owned in Bracebridge that I used to stay at (met the band Northern Pikes once when I stayed there)
    • Canadian
    • She acknowledges Nikole Kritikos, from Scholastic Canada, who is one of my favorite people  
    • Couldn't put the story down, was totally enthralled in Reenie's world
    • Has a Dirty Dancing type feeling to the story. Hard to explain the significance as the story really has nothing to do with the plot of the movie, mostly just the time period and the character development of the main character
    • Perfection 
    The Not so Good Stuff
    • I tried, and slightly understood Mimi's disappointments, but I still disliked her

    Favorite Quotes/Passages

    "She dropped in on us like a rag soaked in gasoline, and the sparks that had always been there, biding their time among the coals, flared up and set everything ablaze."

    "She was a girl used to having things carried for her. I didn't mind, I was a girl used to being at the service of someone else."

    "It was the thing I missed the most in the winter, when the lake was checked with ice and everything I loved was sleeping under a few feet of damn, heavy snow. If you stare long enough into the fire, all the noise in your head that builds up during the day disappears and the only thing that left is peace."

    Who Should/Shouldn't Read
    • Perfect for the middle grade girl who can't get into the paranormal  or dumb diary books
    • Those who enjoy style AND substance
    • Just the book I wanted to read when I was that age (ok and still do)

    5 Dewey's

    I purchased this from Chapters Shawnessy

    Sunday, July 7, 2013

    Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo

    As soon as I found out that Nathan Fillion was coming to the Calgary Expo (and I mean within 30 seconds of finding out) I purchased a 3 day pass for myself and for my 11 yr old son (have to instruct him in the way of the Geek) As Indigo was also having a booth at the Expo, I also volunteered to help out.  Basically if you volunteer for the Indigo booth you got to get in early and also didn't have to pay.  I didn't know this in advance or I might not have purchased a pass and just volunteered all three days.   Anyway, everything worked out (well except for the fact that the day I didn't volunteer I had to wait outside for almost 2 hours and ended up being almost last in line for my photo op with Nathan Fillion - no worries, it all worked out.)

    Sorry guys, this post was supposed to be more in depth, but what can I say, life got a away from me and am seriously behind.  So this will end up being just the basics.


    Arrived nice and early so I could help Richard and the rest of the Indigo crew set up the table for the Expo. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet some fabulous staff from other Chapters/Indigo stores in the Calgary area.   I helped out for about 4 hours, got to know my fellow staff and met some fascinating other people (Both customers and other booth owners)

    Me at our booth

    Once my time was up I took a quick peak around at the other booths and than headed out to wait in line for Peter Dinklage's autograph line. 
    Jessica Rabbit -her booth was PACKED!
     I made it there in good time so I didn't have to wait in line long. He was delightful to chat with,very charming and articulate.  He mentioned that I looked lovely in my costume, which was very sweet. He signed my copy of Game of Thrones, which I guess I am going to finally have to read. I love the show, but have difficulty in reading Fantasy, but that's it I vow to read it before 2013 is over.  I had a photograph op with him later in the day as well which I was looking forward to.

    Peter Dinklage
    While waiting in line for the Dinklage photo op, I got to experience the John Barrowman fandom for the first time.  As the line was very near the celebrity walk way, the guests were constantly walking by our line.  This handsome guy (yup had no idea who he was) started to walk by and all the people in my line started to cheer.  The girls beside me mentioned something about the guys butt and he walked over and let them grab it.  Chatted with them and found out that the gentlemen was John Barrowman.  My friends Tasha and Jenn had mentioned him before so I knew he was from Dr. Who and Torchwood.  Got a real kick out of this and decided that I would have to maybe go chat with him later.  

    John Barrowman walking by
     The Dinklage photo op was a bit of fiasco, but I kept my patience and temper and it mostly turned out ok. Basically they lost my receipt and couldn't take my photo till it was all sorted out. It was almost an extra hour but the volunteers were doing their best to sort it out.  After finally getting it sorted it was my turn, However, the photographer snapped the photo really quickly while we Peter and I were having a serious conversation, so the photo kinda sucks.  Ah well the conversation was worth it.

    Most awkward looking photo EVER!
     Helped back out at the Indigo booth for the rest of the day and than headed home.


    Jake and I headed out pretty early to get in line for the Expo.  I had no idea how crazy the line ups were.  We were in line for almost 2 hours, just to get in the door.  We did get to see hundreds of awesome costumes and  chat with some great people, but I was a little stressed as I wanted to get in line for Nathan Fillion.  By the time we finally made it inside, we knew we were out of luck for getting into his first signing.

    Jake dressed as Wash (from Firefly) - what a total good sport

    While we were figuring out what to do, Jake and I watched the lineup for John Barrowman.  Each and every person came out of his line with a huge smile on their face and were almost skipping. After seeing that and what I had seen the day before, I went to go chat with him for a while.  What a charming, sweet rogue this man was. The girls in front of me were shaking uncontrollably which was so sweet and delightful to watch.  Barrowman was so sweet with her and tried to make her feel at ease. He made a deliciously naughty joke about the benefits of her shaking hands (just use your imagination and you will get it) but she was so nervous she didn't even get it.  Than it was my chance to talk with him and we had a lovely (ok and slightly suggestive - yes I know he's gay, but I don't care - he's handsome and naughty and well lets face it I have as much chance with Nathan Fillion as I do with a gay man - it's fantasy people!) conversation. Got a signed copy of picture for Jenn (which I cannot believe I forgot to bring to New York with me)

    John Barrowman joking with nervous fan about the benefits of shaking hands (she was so nervous she didn't get it)
    We walked around for a wee bit and than headed back (well I sent Jake to hang out in the kids area because he would have been totally bored in line) to get in line for Nathan Fillion's autograph line. It took forever, but I had fun chatting with the people in line.  It was surreal finally getting to meet him, but I was really proud of myself when it was my turn to talk.  I was mostly articulate and didn't say anything stupid (Yeah I know what a surprise)  I gave him the money which I had raised for Kids Need to Read and told him that I was nervous to meet him for two reasons. First that I was known to say stupid or totally inappropriate things when I met someone I admired and second that what if he turned out to be a total asshole and I would now have to choose John Barrowman as my "One" .  He seemed to get a kick out of this. He was charming, sweet, totally sincere and made sure that he gave attention to every person he met. A true class act.

    My boyfriend about to sign my copy of Naked Heat

    After that we rushed over to the photo op line for him and hello this was quite the nightmare as well. They had said that you could not line up till 20 minutes before the signing. As a girl who always follows the rules, this sucked.  Everybody else had decided that that wasn't going to work for them and they lined up anyway and the volunteers decided that was fine.   This ended up making almost last in line.  Ah well, it still worked out as the picture will show  you. Thank you Mr Fillion for making this plain, old Mommy feel beautiful.  I will treasure this picture always! Whenever I feel blue or homesick I take a look at this picture and it always makes me smile.

     Some of my favorite costumes from Day 2

     A female Loki and Thor - truly creative!
    Dr Who
    Sweet girls
    Ash from Evil Dead


    I was volunteering again at the Indigo booth so I didn't have to wait in line.  Love working for you Indigo, especially after today!  Helped out for a little bit until one of the volunteers mentioned that Nathan Fillion (and a bunch of other guests) were doing a special signing for the volunteers and booths. Richard, being the awesome manger he is, said go wait in line but than come back and help.  I guess Fillion was a bit behind as he didn't make it in time. But hey it was 10 minutes before the door opened, so I am not really complaining. This time we chatted about his role in the next Percy Jackson movie (I also gave him a signed Rick Riordan book) and he signed a piece of artwork I had purchased the day before. 

    Now I have some original artwork (and you are right Jeff wasn't impressed)
    Hey Boyfriend!

    Than it was back to work for a couple of hours, which was a total blast.  Chelsea from my store was working today as well and she is a total blast to work with.  I also respect her as she isn't full of shit like many managers.  Thanks for all the information regarding video games and suitability for my 11 yr old Chelsea.

    Geeking out but it was for a good cause!
    My purchases. Finally got a Jayne hat!
    Next up I was pretty excited about meeting Mitch Pileggi (Skinner from the Xfiles). Totally had a crush on him when he was on the Xfiles.  What can I say, I like the bald men. He was so tall, yummy and powerful, yet at the same time fought for those he cared about.  And that voice - rowr!  Had purchased a photo op with him and it was worth every penny (Also had a fab time chatting with the ladies behind me in line -- wonder if they got to touch his chest) As I was walking away, I got up the nerve and asked if I could touch his beautiful head. He smiled and bent over and said yes.  I touched it,  and giggled like a little school girl.  He was so sweet and charming  and hell I heard he was 60 - hot damn he is one fine 60 yr old.

    Me and Mitch Pileggi (thanks for being so sweet about the head thing!)

    Only had a few minutes so I dashed over at the last minute and got a photo op with John Barrowman. As mentioned earlier in the post, he was extremely charming, so I thought it would be fun to get a picture with him.  Again, worth every penny.  He made each and every fan feel like they had a connection to him.  He was also hilarious and made each photo personalized.  He actually directed everyone into different poses and seemed to be having a blast. I know you don't like girls that way, Mr Barrowman, but I think I am going to put you as #5 on my top #5 list anyway.

    John Barrowman (you charming rogue you) and myself (I'm supposed to be Xena)
    Walked around for a while and checked out everything.  Had a few minutes before it was time to go home so I decided to go have a chat with Wil Wheaton.  I always enjoyed Wesley on ST: TNG, and could never understand all the negative comments about him.  Have enjoyed him even more since I started watching The Big Bang Theory.  He was a lot of fun to chat with and got a pic signed to the boys from him.

    Wil you are one cool dude - big respect for you
    Pic #1 for Jake and Jesse: Pic #2 for Jenn
    Than as I was totally exhausted I headed home back to reality,

    Thanks Calgary Fan Expo for a glorious time that I will always remember. Probably will be back next year (and next time I am getting the VIP Pass)

    Friday, July 5, 2013

    BEA Day 3

    Today was such a whirlwind of activity and of emotions.  Jenn and I got up super early so we could get primo seats for the Neil Gaiman talk.  Seems everybody else did as well, as even-though we got there before 7:30 there were already 20 people in front of us.  Didn't really  care because at least we were going to get a signed copy of one of his books.  My co-worker Jen L. is a HUGE fan of Gaiman and because she is so awesome and she made me feel right at home on my first day of work, I wanted to scoop her up a signed copy.  The time flew by as I got to spend time with Jenn and before I knew it we were being let in. Best news of all, the first 500 people were getting TWO, that's right my friends, two SIGNED copies of his books. Not only was Jen L getting a copy, I too was going to get one to keep.  That totally made my day.

    What can I say about Gaiman event. Not only is the mans voice a pure delight to listen too (will now be purchasing all of his audio tapes), he is also charming, intelligent and extremely witty.  When I get a chance I will post some of his presentation on my YouTube channel (FYI - it could be a very long time as this would involve some technical savvy, and well, not so good at that stuff -- Rich you need to move to Calgary)

    Neil Gaiman
    After the event I took off like a bat out of hell, to wait in line to meet Mary Higgens Clark.  My mom loved her books and since they were always around the house when I was a teen, I soon became just as big of a fan. I was actually nervous meeting her (My hands were even shaking) but she quickly put me at ease.  She was a truly gracious and sweet women and hopefully my boys will also become fans when they are old enough to read her stuff.

    Jamie McGuire was at the next table so I grabbed a signed copy of her latest book for my girls night out crew back in Ontario.  Than I was in the right place at the right time and was able to chat with Diana Gabaldon and get a signed copy of Outlander for my sister.  While walking around I stopped dead when I noticed that Jim Carrey was doing a signing for his book.  Sorry picture is so bad, a huge bodyguard mentioned that I could take a quick pic and than move on, Felt slightly intimidated.

    Jim Carrey
    Jim Carrey
      After that I just hung around and chatted with people until the Lincoln Peirce signing.  My 11 yr old is a HUGE Big Nate fan so I had to get a book signed for him.  Brought all of my luggage to the Javitts so that I could make sure I got him a book signed and make my plane on time.  I complain about my boys alot (trust me it makes you a better parent if you get your emotions out) but I would also do anything for those beautiful heathens!  Terri thank you so much for grabbing me a copy of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Christa really wanted a copy and now I was able to make her happy too, Of course, I totally read it before I sent it to her : )

    Licoln Peirce

    While walking around I noticed that they had a book by Jill Shalvis. My buddy Natasha, loves her so I grabbed a copy.  I knew that she had been there earlier in the day and asked if they had any signed copies left. As I was saying that this lovely gentlemen caught my eye and pointed to a women sitting beside him.  Well it ended up that the gentlemen was Jill Shalvis' husband and motioned that Jill was still there and would love to sign  a copy for us.  She also asked me if I wanted a copy too and of course I said yes, my buddy Natasha has excellent taste, so I knew I would love it. Jill (and Hubby, sorry didn't get your name) you are incredibly classy and genuinely lovely people with a great sense of humour!

     Than it was off to the airport to fly back home.  A truly bittersweet time. On one hand I scored an early flight so I could spend some time at the T.O. airport with my sister and friend but also meant I had to say a quick goodbye to Jenn.  It was horrific, as soon as I left Jenn I burst into tears as I knew it would probably be a year before I saw her again. Jenn is a fab person.  She is a spitfire, so full of energy and love, I treasure the time we spent together and already counting down till I can see her again next year.

    To my surprise, not only Tracy (my awesome sis) come, she also brought my Brother in law and niece.  As well not only did Carianne come, she also brought Noemia and Melanie too.  Honest to God, I almost lost it right there.  I missed these guys so much and to have them all come and meet me, was more than this girl could take.  We sat down and chatted over a lovely glass of wine and talked about everything.

    Noemia, Melanie, Me and Carianne (Bolton GNO's crew)

    Miss you guys!!!
       It was less than two hours but it was the highlight of the year. I am truly blessed to have such incredible family and friends. The time went by too fast and I had to run and catch my flight back to Calgary.  Once I got all settled in my airplane seat I got a giggle as the guy beside me was seriously hot, but I totally avoided him because I was bawling my eyes out the whole way back to Calgary.  Missed everyone so bad.  Tried to lose myself in the online Entertainment available on Air Canada. Watched A Good Day to Die Hard (sorry Bruce Willis I love ya, but the movie was dull and painful to watch) and about 4 episodes of The Big Bang Theory (great show, laugh track irritates the hell out of me though)

    Carl (B.I.L. Tracy (sister), me and Tanya (Niece)

    Jeff came to pick me up at the airport and it was back to reality. Thank you everyone involved with BEA. I had a fantastic time and already saving for next year!  Miss you Jenn, Michele, Jen, Terri, Irene, Ardo and Captain Awesome, thanks for being a fab crew to hang out with.  Now come and move out to Calgary - Our Mayor is actually a leader and doesn't do drugs. Also the transit system is fabulous ; )

    Thursday, July 4, 2013

    BEA - Day 2

    Simon and Schuster - Cassie Clare Party (BEA Day 1)

    Oops, cannot believe I forgot to put this in yesterdays post. All I can say it was late at night when I was typing up the post

    Sweet and feisty Felicia invited Jenn and I to attend the Simon and Schuster Cassie Clare party. Felicia if you are ever in Calgary I am taking you out for a good time.

    This was truly a wonderfully organized event, Simon and Schuster, you truly outdid yourself. The food and wine were spectacular and the ambiance was truly magical. Honestly, it felt like a dream, a place that only Cassie Clare herself could have created.  The party was actually held at the Angel Orsesanz Center

    The guests were treated to temporary runes tattoos, the privilege of having their tarot cards read and a lovely gift bag at the end that contained a fabulous t-shirt (no you cannot have it, its mine & it fits) and the movie tie in version of City of Bones.  We got to chat with Cassie and Holly Black for a while which was tons of fun and Cassie's husband was spectacular, so fun, so supportive and so obviously in love with his wife

    This was by far my favorite event during BEA. It was not just an event, it was an experience.  Thank you so much Felicia for letting me join in the fun!

    Felicia from Simon and Schuster

    My Love Rune

    Picture courtesy of Jenn H.

    Jenn Hubbs and Jeremy Cammy

    I was enraptured by this place - could have spent hours

    Props from City of Bones

    Rachel, Jenn and Me

    Cassie Clare

    Cassie Clare and Jenn

     Children's Breakfast

    One of my favorite events last year was the Children's Breakfast event so I once again purchased a ticket.  BTW, the breakfast is slim pickings so always get something to eat before and get there early if you want a good seat.  At least the coffee was decent because there wasn't enough fruit etc for the whole table.  Also they only put 4 Magic Tree House mugs for a table of 8.  But other than that it was a lovely event.  Best part was just hanging with Michele, Jenn, Terri, Rachel, Helaine Becker and Jeremy Cammy.  Octavia Spencer was the emcee and did an ok job.  I personally found her to be a little dull and out of her league, but she wasn't horrible.  Magic Tree House author, Mary Pope Osbourne,  spoke eloquently about her career and shared with us some of the delightful  letters she has received from her fans.  Rick Riordan was up next and he was absolutely hilarious.  He told us a story about a journalist who called and asked to speak with Percy Jackson, and Riordan, in a deadpan voice said, "Sorry he's fictional at the moment. Can I take a message." Veronica Roth gave a beautiful, personal talk about her journey on becoming a writer.  She is a very down to earth, forthright person and I admire her greatly. 

    Rick Riordan (picture courtesy of Jenn H)

    Victoria Roth (picture courtesy of Jenn H)

    After breakfast was over, Jenn, Michele and I raced over to the Librarian's Speed Dating event.  This is an event where representatives from 21 publishers share their favorite books from the upcoming the fall/ winter season from their houses in a speed-dating format.  Each representative has 9 minutes to sell us on their favorites.  It was a fascinating, quick paced event with only one little glitch. While they were setting up the tables,  2 of the Librarians at my table would grab a copy of each new book the publisher reps put down and put them in their bag.  They didn't even bother looking at what the book was about or how many copies of each book they had.  It was really grabby and tacky.  There were a couple of books that I was interested in, but they grabbed them before I could even look (There wasn't supposed to be a copy of each book for each person) Our table got to hear from Hachette, HarperPerenial, Berkley, NAL, Picador, Anchor and LittleBrown. I enjoyed hearing the passion in the reps voice as they championed their favorite books. So fun and inspiring. Cannot wait to tell my co-workers about some of the titles.

    After this was over I walked around, chatted with some people and publishers than it was off to wait in line for Elizabeth Wein.  I had recently finished Code Name Verity and I was very much interested in chatting with her. Also got a copy of the companion novel, Rose Under Fire, signed by her.

    Than went to hang with Terri and Irene who were waiting in a huge line for VE. Schwab.  They convinced me to come and meet with her and get a signed copy of her latest book, Vicious, as well. Glad I did as she was truly delightful to chat with and extremely personable - I can totally see why sweet Terri loves her so much.

    Irene and Terri

    V.E. Schwab
    After that is was a mad rush to meet some more of the authors on my spreadsheet (Yes, I know that sounds weird, but trust me, you need one!)  Thank goodness for the Front of the line pass I purchased and the one Jenn gave me. First up was Brandon Mull. One of my favorite co-workers Sim, asked me to try and get a book signed for her.  Mission was completed and he was a lovely man btw - promised him I would read one of his books pronto. Than used my front of the line pass to meet Mo Willems. He was lovely. However, I was a little cheesed off because after being told we could get our books personalized, he changed his mind and was only signing his signature. Was a tad disappointed but hey I got to chat with him, got a copy of his book and its signed for my  kids -- they can always sell it after I am dead since it isn't personalized to anyone.  Than ran over to meet Rick Yancey, had heard so many great things about his book I had to score a copy of it and see what the fuss was about.  He was quite funny to talk to and I look forward to reading.

    Than I had to book it to wait in line at the Scholastic booth to get a copy of Gaiman's  Fortunately the Milk for my co-worker Jen L.  She loves Gaiman and as we know I like to make people happy.  While I was sitting there I remembered that I wanted to grab Jesse/Jake a Wimpy Kid Umbrella (yup also like to make the kids happy) Irene, Terri's mom,  offered to go grab me one which was so incredibly nice,  and I am totally grateful to her.  Jesse loved it btw!

    Jesse and his wimpy kid umbrella (Came in handy - you have all heard now about the floods we had here in Calgary)

    After that (as you can tell there is lots of waiting in line, than running to the next event) Jenn and I ran back to the hotel and got ready for the next event.

    Random House Canada Party

    After some confusing directions Jenn, Michele, Terri, Irene and I ended up at the Random House Canada party (almost ended up at the Random House USA party). It was held at the Landmarc Restaurant at the Time Warner building. Next time I come to New York, I am totally coming back here. We had a lovely relaxing time chatting with each other, sipping on a lovely wine and noshing on some scrumptious appetizers.  Had a delightful chat with Charles the Butler (Charles MacPherson) and almost met Red Green, but he was only there for a few moments (damn!)  Jeremy and his beautiful wife, Renee (hopefully spelled correctly) dropped by for a few moments and enjoyed chatting with them as well. Tried to convince her to marry her eldest daughter to my son Jake (Hey, they are awesome and I want my boys to have awesome In-laws) She said my son would have to convert, and I was totally up for it.  Shh don't tell Jake yet!! Also mentioned to keep her girls far from Jesse as he is quite the ladies man, for a 4 yr old.  When it came for Terri and Jeremy left I almost broke down into tears.  Tonight was going to be my last night with these people for a very long time and it made me seriously depressed.  I love my family and the move to Calgary was the right one for them, but sometimes it is so hard to be away from people that are as passionate about books as I am. I will miss you guys!

    Robbie Robertson (didn't get a chance to chat with him)
    The Random House party ended quite early so we met up with Michele's friend Jen, and headed out to dinner at this funky restaurant, called Cancun, that Jen recommended.

    Fajitas - seriously yummy!

    Michele and Jen

    We walked around town and hit the Magnolia Bakery. By this time I had consumed a lot of wine and really needed something sweet.  Their cupcakes are soooo yummy, you have to get one if you are ever in New York!  Bid a sad farewell to Jen, who I totally enjoyed. She is so vivacious, funny and wise!

    And well once again it was time to bed, had to get up early in the morning to make sure I got to the Neil Gaiman event nice and early. The first 500 people were getting a signed copy of Gaiman's book and well, I really wanted one.