Something Blue, features a squishy blue monster that gets bigger and bigger, as you flick rapidly through the iPad pages. The images are accompanied by a rhyme, which, according to the author, is what might have happened if Edgar Allan Poe and Doctor Seuss got together and wrote a rhyme about a horrible blue monster. The book also takes advantage of the iBook’s media rich platform, and features animation, as well as various hidden ‘Easter Egg’ sounds, if pages are pressed in the right place. Although meant for 4 to 8 year olds, several parents have also been observed giggling at Blue’s antics.
This week my friend Jamie Adair discussed How Much Violence is Too Much on Game of Thrones. I was amused to hear that Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys, was covered with so much fake gore after shooting one scene that, during a break, she got stuck to the toilet seat. But I really don’t find Game of Thrones that violent. Too much sex, yes. But the level of violence in Game of Thrones is not enough to make me cover my eyes, I might have cringed once or twice, but it’s not like watching a Tarantino film. I lost count of how many times I covered my eyes when I was watching Inglorious Basterds in the cinema. Django Unchained wasn’t actually quite as bad (although I might have covered my eyes once or twice). It was the scalping in Inglorious Basterds that got me. That is what I consider really violent. In fact, looking at the inspiration behind A Song of Ice and Fire, which is largely French and English medieval history, the show is quite tame. It could, in fact, be far more violent. And it seems fans expect violence.
Today is Roald Dahl Day! I thought this would be a good day to show off the latest Roald Dahl in my collection, a 1978 impression of the first British edition of Fantastic Mr. Fox, illustrated by Donald Chaffin.
Apparently it is Sunday. I’ve been completely distracted the last few days, and the last two have been spent doing some reading for an article on The Silmarillion. I’ve often wondered how many Tolkien fans manage the book, considering I have read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit upwards of a dozen times each and The Silmarillion just three times, I am perhaps hopeful that other fans also have a little trouble with it. Last year I read it again, needing absolute concentration, unusual for me as I am usually a quick reader. I finished most of it in a silent, cold hospital room waiting for Craig to come out of surgery. Not an ideal environment for reading but it did provide me with the solitary hours I needed to absorb Tolkien’s great work, what he called his “real” work.
This is my first set of of the Song of Ice and Fire series. The first four books are my first edition trade paperbacks. I bought A Dance with Dragons in hardcover when it was released, but when I went to buy the paperback, they had stopped making trades. Resulting in this
And if you are a mega-nerd like me and need matching covers and same-size books, then this is what happens
Gal and Deirdre have forgotten something. something really, really important.
When her grandmother dies, Deirdre is left alone in a crumbling block of flats. Looking out the window one misty night, she sees a boy who seems familiar. Together, he and Deirde must discover the secret of the old building, before it collapses and the secret is lost forever . . .
Deirdre and Gal have been friends for a lifetime. Brought together when they were five, they instantly developed a bond, a friendship that is tested sorely over the course of their tale, a bond broken and battered and reforged, like a magical sword from a medieval tale. When Gal finds Deirdre in the crumbling ruins of the once-grand Corbenic, he has gone to claim her. But perhaps it is Corbenic that will claim them both.
Somewhere beyond the shores of England, a Pretender is mustering an army. He claims to be brother to the queen, and the true heir to the throne. But is he the lost boy sent into the unknown by his mother, the White Queen? Or a counterfeit prince – a low-born enemy to Henry Tudor and his York princess wife? When Henry Tudor picked up the crown of England from the mud of Bosworth Field he knew he would have to marry the princess of the rival house – Elizabeth of York – in an effort to unify a country divided by war for nearly two decades. But his bride was still in love with his enemy – and her mother and half of England still dreamed of a missing heir and a triumphant return for the House of York.
I’ve been covering the chaos JK Rowling has caused this week over on Nerdalicious , and not without mirth. Her stunt-double Robert Galbraith’s debut novel The Cuckoo’s Calling has gone from respectable sales to number one book everywhere literally overnight. The book was receiving quite a bit of praise from the critics before the author’s true identity was revealed
Last week I met one of my favourite authors Raymond E. Feist for the first time. We had a lovely talk and I got three books signed, two of them were special edition copies of Magician published by Voyager. This week I found a first British edition of Magician from 1983. My timing is spectacular. Of course this hasn’t diminished my excitement at finding a first edition of Magician one bit. This is the first time I have seen any of the first three Midkemia titles in hardcover in ten years of serious book collecting.
I count our successes those who learn to be good-hearted and kind, sensible and trustable, good, sound women the world can lean on.
Miss Grayling – First Term at Malory Towers
A girl of Enid-Blyton-Land must study hard but not be too studious, play hard but never slack off, never pay too much attention to her looks lest she be branded a feather-head but always be “well-turned out”, be independent and clever yet never look so far into the future she forgets to be an ordinary school-girl. Miss Grayling’s gentle speech may be an inspiring one, but the girls of Malory Towers were determined to lick you into shape should you fail to meet their standards. It was an arduous path to becoming the well-rounded woman that Enid expected you to be.
From the iconic orange and white covers to the amazing modern art and superb children’s illustrators, Penguin Books has always been the leader in cover art. There is even a Penguin Collector’s Society, their aim to conserve and preserve vintage Penguin books.
The first Penguin paperbacks appeared in the summer of 1935 and included works by Ernest Hemingway, André Maurois and Agatha Christie. They were colour coded (orange for fiction, blue for biography, green for crime) and cost just sixpence, the same price as a packet of cigarettes. The way the public thought about books changed forever – the paperback revolution had begun.
Luca Vero is a member of the secret Order of Darkness, tasked with searching out and reporting signs of the end of the world. Breaking his journey in Piccolo, he finds a place filled with superstitious fears: of the unknown, of the forces of the sea and sky, of strangers. With him are his loyal friend and servant, Frieze, and his clerk, Brother Peter, as well as the Lady Isolde and her mysterious servant-companion Ishraq. The five of them are followed into the town by a huge children’s crusade, led by a self-proclaimed saint. Its young leader promises that the sea will part before them, and allow them to walk dry-shod all the way to Jerusalem. Luca and Lady Isolde are swept up in the growing excitement; but something dangerous is brewing far out to sea…