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Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Book Faeries - February Edition #2

I went a little nuts in January and splurged on things I shouldn't have: more books from BookCloseouts.com.  My saving grace is the low cost of purchasing books from that website.  A little money definitely goes a long way. :)

In my fuzzied state of mind, I think a couple of the books in this photo are from the last Book Faeries post.  Whoopsies...

Most of these are SF/F, which will appeal to a lot of you!

(Follow the link for an expanded view of each book!)
Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer

The main reason this book drew my attention was something I don't normally notice: the author is both a Hugo and Nebula award winner for best new novel.  But the premise for Rollback sounded really cool: an astronomer finds a message from aliens and decodes it (first alien contact stories are always interesting) and waits almost 40 years for the second to arrive. This time, she's (Yes!  She!  A female astronomer protagonist!) not sure if she has the time left to decode the message before her mortality gets the better of her.  Reminiscent of John Scalzi's Old Man's War, there's a rejuvenation treatment, but something goes wrong.  Moral dilemmas develop between Sarah and her husband, Don as Sarah struggles to interpret the message she's literally waited her entire life to receive.

Genre: Science Fiction
Received: via BookCloseouts.com

Anathem by Neal Stephenson

I really wanted to read Stephenson's Cryptonomicon first, but I suppose this is a good start, too!  It's pretty large and I'm not sure when I'll get to it.  I may cheat and find a copy of his other novels to start since I hear Anathem is a pretty ambitious book that should only be approached with the utmost dedication.  But I don't shy away from philosophical or mathematical type of discussions (even though some of that may be over my head), so this one will be a fun challenge.

Genre: Science Fiction
Received: via Book CloseOuts.com

Feed by M.T. Anderson

Did I mention before I think I've developed a compulsive problem with futuristic YA novels?  At least this one is on the satirical side and therefore, promises lots and lots of entertainment.

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Received: via BookCloseouts.com

Dancing at the Edge of the World by Ursula K. Le Guin

I've been trying to find a copy of this I could afford for about two years now.  It's available free through Google Books, but I don't take well to e-books or being forced to read on screen something on the scale of a book.  This particular one is a collection of essays, one of which I absolutely love: "Is Gender Necessary? (Redux)"  If you are interested in the ways Le Guin approaches gender in her novels, that is an essay you definitely want to read!

Genre: Critical Essay
Received: via BookCloseouts.com
The Long Price Quartet, Book Two: A Betrayal in Winter by Daniel Abraham

I've been planning a secret Reading Challenge for JRT and bought this in anticipation.  If you're curious, it (the challenge) involves summer and a lot of books!

Genre: Fantasy
Received: via BookCloseouts.com

The Long Price Quartet, Book Three: An Autumn War by Daniel Abraham

I don't have much to say about this book just yet.  It's the third in Daniel Abraham's fantasy series: The Long Price Quartet and I found both it and A Betrayal in Winter very cheap in hardcover (cheaper than their mass markets!).

Genre: Fantasy
Received: Via BookCloseouts.com
Fathom by Cherie Priest

Cherie Priest is an author to be reckoned with (Boneshaker is a Nebula award nominee).  Her prose is lovely and her ideas are dynamic.  The premise of this book was so fascinating, I had to snatch it up when it appeared on BookCloseouts!  Part myth, part thriller, Fathom involves a sea monster, ancient gods, and human allies.  The cover is also very intriguing and a little disorienting in its blurriness.

Genre: Fantasy
Received: via BookCloseouts.com

Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplighter

I love Shakespeare; The Tempest is one of my most favorite of his plays.  There have been mixed reviews of this book, but it interested me so much I decided I needed to read it for myself.  It should be fascinating to read about Miranda in modern times.  Prospero Lost is a mix of myth and Urban Fantasy that promises a unique approach to the genre.

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Received: via BookCloseouts.com

 To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

I had read a lot of good press promoting Blackout, the newest Willis title, and was encouraged by Calico-Reaction's March book club choice to read this one first.  The availability in mass market and price didn't hurt either. :)  Of course, after stopping by my local Borders (former place of employment) and chatting with old coworkers (well, managers--it pays to know people at the top) I winded up with enough discounts to get this book for free. I'm pleased.

Genre: Science Fiction
Received: via Borders
Except the Queen by Jane Yolen & Midori Snyder

This was the only other book I picked up at Borders (on the same trip). Since they were all out of copies of Kindred, I let my eyes glance around the SF/F section, saw this, remembered a very positive review from The Book Smugglers, and thought I'd treat myself to the hardcover. :)

Genre: Fantasy
Received: via Borders

Command Decision by Elizabeth Moon

This is another series I'm gearing up to read as part of an upcoming summer reading challenge being held here at JRT.  Sadly, this is the 4th book in Moon's Vatta's War SF series and not the first, but it was for sale ($1!) at my library's bookstore.  Considering the book is a hard cover and looks like it's never been read, I can live with the library stamps and barcode. :)

If you're at all curious in my summer reading challenge, keep an eye on the blog! It will be announced either at the end of March or, for sure, in April!

Genre: Science Fiction
Received: via Library bookstore

The Tourmaline by Paul Parks

I saw this at the same library bookstore for the same price--another hard cover library edition removed (for whatever reason) from shelves with absolutely no physical shelf wear.  It's the second book in a Fantasy quartet by Parks that has gotten so-so reviews.  Since this is the second book, I'll at least be reading half the series once I get the first.  That won't be for a long while, though.

Received: via Library bookstore

How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

Thanks to a fantastic contest recently held at Book Love Affair (which I almost didn't enter because I FAILED TO READ THE FULL INSTRUCTIONS), I won a brand new copy of a book I've been itching to read!  Justine Larbalestier has one of the best blogs--you should read it if you haven't already.  She's smart, she's witty, but she's also Team Zombie (unfortunately, so is her husband.  Why Scott Westerfeld? Why?!).  Lucky for her, I happen to think Zombies are okay--to a certain extent.  The unicorns shall win! Who's with me?

Also, that reminds me: I need to read Rampant.

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Received: via Book Love Affair contest prize

Dark Life (ARC) by Kat Falls

Kathryn McKenna over at Simon & Schuster UK has hinted at this exciting new series by debut author Kat Falls (I have a widget featured on the bottom of my blog--that's how excited I am about this book).  It's post-apocalyptic YA (and was featured in this Publishers Weekly article on Dystopia and YA books): the world is past global warming--ocean levels have risen so high humans are forced to live in extremely close quarters on the only land left available.  Some even brave the deep waters and live below the shoreline like aquatic frontiers folk carving out new swathes of sea floor.  The underwater premise was enough to convince me I wanted to read this--I was so sad, though, when my ARC fell out of the packaging along the way and an empty envelope arrived on my doorstep.  Kathryn was so kind, though, and offered to send me another!  And don't worry for everyone else here in the US: both the UK and US editions come out in early May (or late April) so if it interests you, you won't have to wait long to read it!

To speak a little on the cover: this is going to be the UK cover.  The US one is a little different (featured in the article I linked to above), but still appealing.  The proof copy I received is actualy almost entirely black and lacking the punch of the final editions.

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
 Received: via Simon & Schuster UK

There you have it: a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy titles.

Do any of these look interesting to you?  Let me know what you think in the comments. :)


Anonymous said...

"which I almost didn't enter because I FAILED TO READ THE FULL INSTRUCTIONS"

Those silly instruction things!

There's a lot of titles here that I mean to read too. :)

eidolons said...

Goodness, may I borrow your book faeries? (:

Prospero Lost looks good. I have to admit to not reading all of the descriptions of the other books yet. Dinner is on the stove and the kids are.. being kids.

Erika said...

@TJ: The TBR pile never gets any smaller. ;)

@eidolons: They're rather generous, aren't they? This time around, I had used some of my own money. I gifted myself.

Don't worry about reading the descriptions (life is life and keeps us busy!)--it's actually more me talking about how I came about wanting to read a book or how I got it than a brief synopsis. That's why I include the cover. People can see the visual and remember to look for it later. :)

Anonymous said...

I am MOST INTERESTED in this challenge you speak of!

So, I enjoyed PROSPERO LOST quite a lot, so I'm looking forward to your thoughts on that one. I've got the two Abraham books to read as well (I've already read the first), as well as the Priest. A friend of mine is supposed to send me FEED to read, and I have much love for the LeGuin. Also, I've read the Vatta's War series, and the one you've got now I think is my favorite of the five. :)

Erika said...

@calico-reaction: Really, I got the Le Guin book for references purposes--it's not something I'm going to review here, but I do so love Le Guin.

Ah-ha! Perhaps I have one more early participant for my challenge? :) I'll give you a brief rundown: 4 months, 4 book series (roughly one book per week)--participation for all or select months is highly encouraged! The book series are already picked out...

I'll have a more detailed post sometime at the end of March or in April since it's for summer. I also need to figure out some minor logistics on how to organize it, but I've gotten pretty excited about it. :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Would you mind forwarding me the series already picked out? I'm not sure I can participate, but if I do have any of the books you're going to feature, I can make sure I hold off on reading them. Of course, if the Abraham's one, I wouldn't be able to because I've already read the first book in the series...



Erika said...

@calico-reaction: I've sent you a PM on LiveJournal with the months & books. I think you may only be interested in one month, but you could always join us in discussion or re-read one if you'd like. :)

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