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October Round-Off

 Sunday, 31 October 2010

Yeesh I totally don't know where this month went!! One minute it's my birthday next thing I know it's Halloween and I'm staring Nanowrimo in the face!
I haven't had a particularly outstanding month blog-wise, I've not got anywhere as many reviews done as I'd like (What the hell am I talking about I did four at the start of the month!), my follower numbers have only crept up a little, and I've neglected a couple of the memes that I used to do.
But on the bright side last week I launched a new cover feature jointly with Jess of Jess hearts books which we think is quirkily awesome.

Books Read this Month
164. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
165. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger 
166. Angel by L.A. Weatherly 
167. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White 
168. If I Stay by Gayle Forman 
169. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan 
170. The Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George 
171. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
172. World War Z by Max Brooks
173. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler 
174. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner 
175. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly 
176. Finding Sky by Joss Stirling

Favourite Books of Month
Since I've read some cracking books in October I'm choosing three :P
If I Stay by Gayle Forman - Just so beautiful and moving
World War Z by Max Brooks - Erm Zombies Rule?
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly - Fabulously layered historical/contemporary novel

Books Reviewed this Month
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary-Ann Shaffer
The Protector of the Small quartet by Tamora Pierce
Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
World War Z  by Max Brooks

Features this Month
Although I plum near forgot, I did my Favourites Fortnight (which dissolved into a Favs Se'night) right at the start of the month. The posts done for that were as follows:
Favourites Fortnight - The Starting Line
Guest Post from Jess Hearts Books on Harry Potter!...
Guest Review from Musings of a Bookshop Girl
Also in the last week or so I have done several posts for the lead-up to the start of NaNoWriMo 
The Road to NaNoWriMo - Part 1
The Road to NanoWriMo - Part 2
You Know You're Doing Nanowrimo When...

And Finally the new feature launched by Jess and I - inventively titled Covers So Lovely We'd Lick Them!
New Feature Launching Next Week!!
Covers So Lovely We'd Lick Them #1!!

As always there's been the usual IMM and IMWAYR posts although I've not really done Teaser Tuesdays or Booking through Thursdays at all this month. I did do one hop on Friday but since I'd reached the max number of blogs that I could follow I didn't do much hopping in reality :(

But That has been my October! Not too shabby really although I'm sure next month's round-off post is gonna be weird-looking with near daily Nano update posts and basically nothing else :P

Happy Halloween All!


In My Mailbox #26 - The one before Hell Breaks loose

Happy Halloween!! Strangely I've not been excited for this holiday at all although if you consider the fact that Halloween is followed directly by November 1st then it's much clearer - NANOWRIMO STARTS ON MONDAY!!! *dies* I'm suddenly nearing panic level because my outline is *nowhere near* finished and I really should have characterised some of my secondary people a bit more instead of doing a whole 101 questions your character should be able to answer for my FMC :S

But I'm getting off-topic - it's Sunday (or Doom's Eve as I shall be calling it) and therefore it's time to show y'all what fell into my possession this week!

In My Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie

Books Acquired this Week
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Crescendo by Becca FitzPatrick
The Wonderful Weekend Book by Elspeth Thompson
A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

A pretty decent haul for me and it may be the last for a little while unless the pressure of Nanowrimo causes me to go on a book-buying binge of sheer insanity (I do hope not since I need to be saving my money for bills and shiz).

So that's what I got - What's In *Your* Mailbox this week??

p.s. For those NanoNutters check back here Sunday night cos I'm feeling kinda batty and I may do a post just after midnight when I start writing!! I'm in the UK obvs so Midnight for me will be 8pm EST/7pm Central. The clocks in the UK go back tonight so I get an extra hour in bed wahey!!


Book Blogger Hop #10

 Friday, 29 October 2010

Yowzers it's been a long while since I did a hop! But I'm feeling in a procrastinatory mood and the rain is rather depressing so what better way to cheer myself up than grab my pogostick and gets a-hopping!

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly blogger event where loads of folk get together to discover new and awesome blogs to add to their readers (and new books to add to their TBR piles :P). It's hosted by Jennifer at Crazy For Books

So welcome one and all to the Library of LadyViolet! Here I lurk usually with a cup of tea and book in hand and occasionally I deign to review one of the books I've recently read (If you peruse the list of books read so far this year you'll see why I have a hard time reviewing even a quarter of them).
I will warn you that as we're on the cusp of November all manner of crazy is about to break loose in the form of Nanowrimo so posting is going to be rather erratic for the next month. 
But don't let that scare you off :P Grab a beanbag, some cookies are on the table there and just enjoy the madness- we're all crazy here... wait I meant I'm crazy... dang plurals.

Every Week Jennifer also asks a question of us Hoppers this week's question is: "What is the one bookish thing you would love to have, no matter the cost?"
Obviously everyone's answer is gonna be a whack-off huge library in their home and I am no exception. I would sell my soul and quite possibly someone else's to be able to have a whole room full of shelves crammed with books, with ladders on rails around the room and big squooshy beanbags and armchairs and a lovely fireplace to keep warm next to in winter. Plus I would really love it if I could have the door disguised on the outside so it's sort of like a secret hideout- *that* would be cool!

So Happy Hopping and I hope your Weekend is Super Spooky!


You Know You're Doing Nanowrimo When...

 Thursday, 28 October 2010

.... Random stuff starts to happen in your story without your say-so!
I know I've read despairing posts from people on the NaNo Forums saying that their characters were holding mutinies and doing what they liked but I've never really had that problem myself - but I suppose that's because I've never properly written out my story ideas, they tend to just live in my head like little movies *cough*

But that all changed the other day when one of my Bad Guy's henchmen decided to inform me that he is *not* complicit with Bad Guy's nefarious activities and he is only still working for him because his twin brother (who is of equal magical power) *is* complicit. They've grown apart since they started working for the Bad Guy (most people don't really know how much of a bad guy he is) so the Bad Twin could be ordered to kill his own brother should he decide to defect and probably have no qualms about doing it.

To counteract the rather negative impression that working for an arrogant, rather power-hungry warlock can create, Luc (my defecting HenchTwin) tries to be the voice of reason and present the more moral options when a decision regarding punishment or law enforcement is put before the King (Oh bugger I forgot to say, the Bad Guy is the King of Sous-Paris where all the paranormal folk live). I think he wants to help Celestine (my FMC) cos the King *really* doesn't like her and he may even be ambitious enough to try and claw his way up to potential romantic interest. He's not developed much further than that and I don't really know what he's done while working for the King but I reckon it's not all pretty. We'll see what happens I guess.

I had a bit of giggle earlier while outlining Chapter 9 cos there's gonna be a scene with a trebuchet. Yep you heard me - a full blown medieval trebuchet. There's an awesome thread on the forums here where people can decide to include a Trebuchet somewhere in their novel. Even if it a contemporary novel (sort of like mine is) the challenge is to write a scene where this awesome siege engine appears. My Trebuchet scene is gonna be taking place in the Louvre (in Paris obvs) on a Tuesday which is when the museum is actually closed. My MMC is an archaeologist and is currently working in the Egyptian Antiquities department. So on this nice Tuesday many of the staff congregate in the Court Carre (That big square courtyard behind the pyramid) as some the chaps from the Medieval dept. have built a miniature trebuchet and of course I imagine that there's nothing that a bunch of highly educated historians enjoy more that flinging rubbers (ERASERS US-folk) and lumps of dirt across the massive courtyard in the Louvre.

Three Days Left :O *faints*
Oh but on the bright side, today my bf said that he's thinking about doing NaNo as well *happy dances* I was sooo not sure as to how I was gonna explain my scary bag-lady appearance and ink-splodged hands when I go to visit him next week so I think it's wonderful that he'll be writing like a fiend alongside me!
*sickeningly gooey sigh*



Covers So Lovely We'd Lick Them #1!!

Hey hey! What a wonderful kind of day! (Ten cookies to the person who knows what that's from :P)
Well guess what folks? It's the first and insanely awesome post of the new joint feature that I and Jess of Jess hearts books are hosting every Thursday. If you missed the post where I explained the origin of this rather uniquely named feature then check it out here!!

Covers So Lovely We'd Lick Them
A new feature co-created and co-hosted by LadyViolet and Jess hearts books where we show off a book cover which we find so damn scrumptious that we'd actually be willing to lick it!
Every Thursday we each pick a different cover to gush about so check both blogs!

My Pick for this Week
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Gah, I don't think I can quite express how much I *want* that dress the model is wearing - so damn gorgeous!! I suffer from PDS (Pretty Dress Syndrome) so every time I clap eyes on a book cover with a particularly fabulous dress on it I get serious envy and wish there was some way to drag the dress off the cover so I can wear it!

I also love the smokey background so it's kind of dark but the cover isn't all black like oodles of other paranormal books of late. The pink is lovely and shimmery too and I don't even really like pink!

Note: This is the UK cover that I got off - it's essentially the same as the US one but there's just a *teensy* bit more floatiness going on with the dress and the thistle-looking things are more prominent.

The UK paperback is coming out on the 6th January 2011 from HarperCollins Children's Books so be sure to pre-order it now!!

So that's the cover I'd Lick this week, go check out Jess's post- she's Licking Nightshade this week! (No fair :P)



The Road to NanoWriMo - Part 2

 Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Holy frozen badguys! We're only 4 freaking days away from the start of NaNoWriMo!! *dies*
I know that there's a lot of my fellow book bloggers taking the plunge this year and although this is gonna be my first year attempting it I'm feeling strangely happy about starting. I've got a story idea that I'm really invested in, a bunch of characters that I'm gonna have a whole ruck of fun with and I've actually got the first 8 chapters outlined with a reasonable amount of detail (Yesterday I hand-wrote three and bit pages for Ch. 8) and I currently know what's gonna happen in the next few after that. 

Once November starts I may go into scarily-stressed mode and terrify everyone around me (my flatmates don't know I'm doing Nano and I don't think they'd really understand if I *did* tell them). I'm hoping that that doesn't happen since I kind of need to be able to keep my head so I can do my Uni work and not let my grades slip. It's gonna be an interesting test of my time management skills and whether I can stop procrastinating huge chunks of my day away. Hmm well what I can do is procrastinate my uni work by working on my novel and procrastinate my novel by doing my work if ever I get stuck. :P

During November itself this here blog may grind to a halt although I am gonna try and schedule a few posts  of a non-Nano nature in case y'all get sick of my wittering on about it. But other than that I will probably do very quick word count update posts and maybe a small excerpt here and there for your viewing pleasure (or not if it happens to be crap). Don't expect many if any book reviews as heck knows if I'll get any reading done with all the crazy writing shiz going on. 

So any other blogging Nanoers, if you wanna add me as a buddy I'm LadyViolet (who else?) and hopefully we'll get through this month together! 

Good luck to those taking part and let's get ready to rock 'n' roll!


It's Monday What are you Reading (18)

 Monday, 25 October 2010

Ok who's been speeding up the clocks? I swear I was only writing one of these yesterday and already it's Monday again! Eep only one week until NaNoWriMo as well! So expect next week's post to be very sparse.

It's Monday What are you Reading? Is a weekly bookish meme where we get together to share what books we've read in the past week, what books we're currently reading and what new books we're planning on reading in the coming week along with any reviews or interesting posts. It's hosted by Sheila @One Person's Journey through a World of Books

Books I read Last Week
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (Fab start to new series may review fully)
World War Z by Max Brooks (Reviewed Here)
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler (Fun, frothy life-swap adventure)
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (Review coming soon)

Books I'm Planning on Reading This Week
The Ambassador's Mission by Trudi Canavan. I want to get this finished before Nano starts since it's a library book and I won't get it read otherwise.

Other than that I'm not sure, as always but I reckon that I'll pick something up unless I have too much going on, which is a possibility since I want to try and get working on an essay that's due in Mid-November.

So What are You Reading this Week?


In My Mailbox #25 - They're not all mine!

 Sunday, 24 October 2010

Howdy y'all I'm sure you know the drill by now. It's Sunday ergo I show off what books happened to fall into my possession during the week. This week was a slightly odd one since the majority of the books I bought weren't actually for me, and they shall be finding their way into someone else's IMM for *next* week :P. And by someone else I mean Jess hearts books - go pester her to pick up Stray already!!

In My Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie

Books Acquired this Week
One More Bite by Jennifer Rardin
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
Rogue, Pride, Prey & Shift by Rachel Vincent FOR JESS :D

So there we go not too shabby although next week is gonna be awesome I just know it :P
What's in Your Mailbox this week?


Book Review - World War Z

Yeesh it's been waaay too long since I did a book review, I am sorry although I'm probably gonna be just as bad throughout November when NaNoWriMo is fully underway. I've had a very strange two days of reading, on Friday night I finished the book I'm about to review and then today I procrastinated my french work with the book I will hopefully review later this week. The second book was *so* different to the first it's actually quite comical. But anyway back to work!

Title: World War Z
Author: Max Brooks
Date: 22/10/2010 PM
Source: Borrowed from Library
Description: The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time.World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years. (Description taken from Goodreads)

My review
Well dang what can I say? I've not read that many zombie books but you can be damn sure that this is gonna be the one that I will use as the standard for every one I read in the future. When a work of *fiction* is so realistic that you have to mentally remind yourself that the world has not been ravaged by a apocalyptic zombie plague then you know you're onto a winner.

This marvel of a book is written as a series of interviews with survivors of "World War Z" from all across the world. The author Max Brooks (another "survivor") was determined to get accounts from people who saw some of the most important moments of the war from the Chinese Doctor who saw Patient Zero - a 12 year old boy who was bitten by something in a lake - to the people who several years after the main War ended are still clearing the land above the snowline where zombies lay frozen until the ground thaws when they'll come back to life *ahem* unlife. 

The sheer scope and scale of this book is amazing, there is so much detail in the political machinations during all stages of the War that you could almost imagine those countries actually taking similar courses of action in the case of a zombie outbreak. The explanations of the spread of the disease ring scarily true - people fleeing infected areas unaware that they had the virus themselves and getting far enough to cause a breakout in an entirely new place when they finally die and reanimate. I think that this book would be an invaluable source of information in the event *god forbid* that a zombiefying virus ever appears.

What really sent shivers down my spine while reading this was how few people survived this global war, the idea that these lucky souls have no clue as to what happened to everyone they ever knew, unless of course they had to kill their own family when they reanimated. It's truly horrifying to think about how our whole society would collapse if this were ever to happen - I'm honestly a bit scared that everyone in North Korea would disappear like it occurs in the book and I'd kinda like to know whether anyone dared to look [Not exactly a spoiler but by the end of the book you still don't know what happened to the 38 million strong population]. *shudders*

So if you ever feel the need to terrify yourself so thoroughly that you actually begin to fear the appearance of a zombie plague (I know I'm thinking about stocking up on shovels and pickaxes just in case) then pick up this book. It's a perfect example of how brilliant dystopian and apocalyptic novels can be - a mixture of fear and realism so potent that you feel as though you're reading a history book from the future.

Max Brooks I applaud you for cranking my apocalypse paranoia levels up to "Shit we're all gonna die!" mode. In my opinion the books that cause you to either burst out in hysterical laughter, dissolve into a sobbing mess, or shrivel into a quivering ball of bat-shit scaredy-cat are the books that everyone should be reading.

My Rating: 5 Brains out of 5 (hehe zombies... brains... :P)

So if you haven't read it yet, get on it now! Halloween is coming up and it's the perfect book to get you in the spooky mood.
And on that note I'm gonna try to sleep now... whilst very firmly keeping all thoughts of zombies far from my mind lol.


New Feature Launching Next Week!!

 Thursday, 21 October 2010

Well howdy there! Ain't this a special occasion? What I have for you today is the start of a new feature which has emerged tonight from a *very* bizarre Twitter discussion with my bestie Jess of Jess hearts books. We're the kind of crazy people who drool excessively over sublimely pretty book covers (and the Fuentes brothers :P) and we gots a-talking about which covers are so unbelievably gorgeous that we would be willing to lick them.

Thus the idea for a feature was born...
Next Thursday on both my blog and Jess's we will be launching our new joint feature -
  Covers So Lovely We'd Lick Them 
We know it's an insane name but it's from the mind of two insane people. Every Thursday we will choose one book cover which we particularly adore and proclaim loudly to the world why we'd be very happy to lick it. 

If that sounds worth a look then pop back next week for the first post of our Fab New Feature! 

Muchos Love


It's Monday What are you Reading (17)

 Monday, 18 October 2010

I didn't do a post for this last week since I'd read only two books and I thought it too pathetic to bother writing up so I'm covering the past fortnight in this post. The last 5 days have been *vair* good in terms of reading and by the time you see this post it might be even better!

It's Monday What are you Reading? Is a weekly bookish meme where we get together to share what books we've read in the past week, what books we're currently reading and what new books we're planning on reading in the coming week along with any reviews or interesting posts. It's hosted by Sheila @One Person's Journey through a World of Books

Books read in the Past Two weeks
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (I was gonna review it but not anymore sorry)
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Ditto since I'll only start crying again)
Angel by L.A. Weatherly (I *want* to review it cos it rocked but it's depending on time)
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (Again will review if I get time)
If I Stay by Gayle Forman (God loved this book so much)
The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan (Finally finished this series!)
The Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George (I am addicted to fairy-tale retellings!)
The last five of those books have been read on 5 consecutive days since I went a little mental and binged on books.

Books I'm Currently Reading
World War Z by Max Brooks - This may be fiction but so far it's freaking me the feck out, it feels horribly possible sometime in the future :S

The Ambassador's Mission by Trudi Canavan - It's interesting enough so far although I kinda feel like re-reading the Black Magician's trilogy to refresh my memory of how that series ended.

Books I'm Planning on Reading this Week
Honestly who the heck knows? I'm such a moody reader and at the moment I have times when I don't fancy picking up a book at all so it's pretty hard to give a concrete answer. But I will say that I'm eyeing up a couple of books although I'm gonna have to make sure I ration myself or I'll have a *very* late night and then any morning classes I have will be out the window.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (I know why haven't I read this sooner?)

Anyways that's been my fortnight and I'm rather looking forward to this week so What are *You* Reading this fine Monday? (I'm hoping it's fine where you are, it's always uncertain for me:P)


In My Mailbox #24 - the one without a witty title

 Sunday, 17 October 2010

Guess what time it is?! (no, really :P) I am seriously getting concerned with how quickly October is disappearing, I'm already over a week past 20 years old and November is creeping up on me with menacing speed. I had meant to spend this weekend getting caught up on my uni work but so far I've only managed *ONE* sodding item on that list :( But hopefully once this is done then I can get back on the productivity wagon and not distract myself with this week's haul. (Not gonna happen really).

Any-who... In My Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Kristi @The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie

Books Acquired this Week
World War Z by Max Brooks
The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
The Ambassador's Mission by Trudi Canavan
Alpha by Rachel Vincent *squee*
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Definitely a better week methinks. No clue how next week's IMM is gonna turn out since unless I buy some or borrow some more from the library then I'll not have anything! *sad face*
Now if you'll excuse me I'm gonna go grab a cup of tea and do some work *coughreadcough*

Now what's in Your Mailbox this Week?


The Road to NaNoWriMo - Part 1

 Friday, 15 October 2010

Well as you may know (or not but you soon will) I have decided to jump off at the deep end and signed up to do NaNoWriMo this November. Basically National Novel Writing Month is about kicking your inner editor to the kerb and try to churn out at least 50,000 words of a story in 30 Days. It doesn't have to be grammatically accurate or make a whole lot of sense just get the words down on the page in time (December is for editing). It's insane and hopefully will be a whole boatload of fun. You can go to write-ins with fellow Nanoers in your area (I know of at least 8 people near me doing it) and battle against your writing buddies to write the most in a limited period of time - also known as Word Wars.

There's also the Forums - here you can find a melting pot of useful facts and trivia to use in your story along with tons of people willing to help you work through any problem you may have e.g. plotting, research, techno, motivational, etc. But beware they can be a serious time-suck so make sure that come November you're writing more on your novel than you are posting on the forums! :P

So far I think I'm doing quite well with my planning considering that it's gonna be my first time attempting it. Some people don't like to bother with planning before November and just fly by the seat of the pants for the whole month but frankly if I don't have some fairly concrete outlines of what the heck I'm doing then I will never make it past the first chapter.

I have my idea, I have a reasonable grasp (at the moment) of what's gonna happen although there's still a *lot* of gaps to fill, I have my main character pretty fleshed out and will be starting on the other characters in due course. I've been doing a fair bit of thinking about the world that my story is set in and the rules by which it operates cos I really don't want to get bogged down part-way through wondering whether I can get away with something in the story. I haven't gotten round to writing detailed chapter-by-chapter outlines yet but I will have to get on that once I know how many chapters this darn thing will be :P.

Oh what's that? You want to actually know what I'm gonna be writing about? Ok fine I shall try and summarise what the basic plot is for you and introduce the characters I have so far.

Everyone knows that Paris is the City of Light but that's just one half of greater whole. The humans of Paris live in what is known as Haut-Paris and they go about their lives never knowing that another shadowy world is just beyond the ether and full of magical beings and creatures. This world is known as Sous-Paris and is home to Witches, Warlocks, Vampires, Werewolves, Succubi, Incubi, Faeries and hosts of other paranormal creatures who live under the rule of the King of Paris.
Our heroine is a witch who was raised in Haut-Paris with no knowledge of her heritage until her Grand-mere brings her to Sous in order to learn how to use her powers. But... there's a snag. For some reason in the three years that she has known about magic our heroine has never been able to cast a spell more complex than lighting a candle. As the story begins she is close to giving up on ever being able to work as a fully-fledged witch but one day as she sets out for work (In her Grand-mere's magic shop for both inhabitants of Haut & Sous) she gets caught up in an explosion of magic which changes her life and the life of the young Englishman whose car she inadvertedly crashes into when the explosion knocks her off her feet.

Thus begins the crazy, magic-filled adventure that is (currently) One Night in Sous-Paris. There's much more to it than that little synopsis but I don't want to bore y'all with a massive rambling description. Oh and a slight disclaimer - Just because there is a Female main character and a (admittedly rather handsome) Male main character *doesn't* mean that the plot revolves around them two getting it on. It's gonna be more adult-orientated for reasons that will become clear when you get to know Celestine my main character.

Since this post is already lengthy enough I shall leave the character introductions until either tomorrow or early next week. Do comment with your thoughts on the idea and if you're planning on doing Nano then tell me in the comments as well! :D

A bientot mes amies


Guest Review from Musings of a Bookshop Girl

 Thursday, 14 October 2010

Even though I have had to cut Favourites Fortnight short I still have to post the Guest Review that Ellie from Musings of a Bookshop Girl did for me because it's bloody awesome and you need to read it!

Take it away Ellie!

*     *     *     *     *
Hi LadyViolet readers!  I'm so chuffed to be over here sharing some fangirl excitement for one of my fave books of all time, the wonderfully titled BOOKS, BAGUETTES AND BEDBUGS (US Title - Time was Soft There) by Jeremy Mercer.  How could I not love it really - it's the story of a man who lived in a bookshop for a year!  IN PARIS!  Plus it helped inspire me when it came to setting up our own bookshop...  Here's my review:
On the run from an unfortunate mistake in his Canadian life as a crime journalist, Jeremy Mercer heads to Paris to escape for a while.  Caught in a rainstorm near Notre-Dame one afternoon, he spots a welcoming light across the river and thus stumbles inadvertently on the Shakespeare and Company bookshop.  Invited upstairs for tea by the beautiful woman behind the desk, wandering the labyrinth of books and beds, he soon realises that this is no ordinary bookshop and, as a poor writer, is invited to join the ranks of lost souls inhabiting the book-lined rooms.
So begins his whimsical and quintessentially bohemian stay, under the watchful eye of eccentric owner George Whitman (surely the star of the book, with his fascinating life and Communist ideals), who renamed his unique store after the original literary oasis, run by his good friend Sylvia Beach, which was forced to close down during the Second World War.  Here all are welcome to browse and lose themselves in their reading; tea is offered on a Sunday; eclectic readings take place in the library; literary and political opinions are argued out – and those in need of a bed will find one amongst the books in return for a few hours helping around the shop and in the kitchen.
Mercer deliciously evokes days trawling the scattered tomes, nights spent storytelling by the Seine, tourists attracted by the store’s reputation, wanderers attracted by Whitman’s generosity, showering in the public washhouses, scrounging leftover food to get by: in short, a poor life, without good facilities or scope for wastage of any kind, but a happy, lively life nonetheless.  The characters moving through Whitman’s utopia are many and varied, yet he remains, a kind of rock in the tides of time and tourism, as the chaos of youthful dreams and books and wine whirls around him.  
Of course, eventually reality bites for Mercer and it’s time to move on – but his journey is magical while it lasts, and there's lots of interesting ideas to think about and lessons to be learned from this amazing place.  If you like the sound of all this there's a brilliant documentary called 'A Portrait of the Bookstore as an Old Man' which is well worth watching!  This really the perfect book lover's book, especially if you like haunting ramshackle old bookshops, so consider this a shout out for book bloggers everywhere to go find a copy and spread the love!

Ellie's Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Ellie sent me the link to the documentary which is nearly an hour long so I won't force people to sit staring at my blog for that amount of time :P If you wanna watch it here you go- A Portrait of the Bookstore as an Old Man

After looking at pictures of this place I'm sorely tempted to ring up and ask if *I* can live there for my year abroad cos frankly nothing would make me happier than spending several months surrounded by books and the people who love them. 

A big thanks to Ellie for doing this review for me and anyone who *hasn't* seen Ellie's blog well shame on you! Get over there now! She has awesomely eclectic taste in books and she runs a freaking bookshop! She does the most hilarious posts on the weird and wonderful customers she gets and has a book-buying habit that would put most of us to shame :P 



So In case you hadn't Noticed...

 Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Basically I've had to cut my Favourites Fortnight event short since my workload for Uni has hit me like a ton of bricks along with a bitching cough and I'm knackered a lot of the time so the pressure of churning out reviews in that short amount of time has just got too much and I literally can't write my thoughts on these books right now.

I don't know if I will get round to doing reviews for Trickster's Choice, Voyage of the Dawn Treader and the Time Traveler's Wife any time soon but they're not gonna be appearing before the end of this week for definite. I've not even re-read Atonement yet so there was no way I could keep to my originally scheduled review date of erm Today... *awkward*.

With everything being all crazy-stressful right now I've just not got the energy to read or to even blog that much, I know I missed doing my usual It's Monday post although that was partly because I saw no point of reporting that I'd only read 2 books since October started. I have actually read two fab books in the past two days - Angel by L.A. Weatherly and Paranormalcy by Kiersten White but I stayed up pretty late to do it and I paid for it this morning when I missed my first class (first time this year although certainly not the last :P) because I was so tired.

I don't want to go on hiatus cos I do still want to blog although with how little I'm reading I've not got anything to post by way of reviews, or Monday posts so I may just resort to rambling posts about the prep work I'm doing for this Year's Nanowrimo (which I'm insane enough to actually attempt with my workload :S). It's the main thing that's occupying my mind right now other than uni and I kinda want to share my thoughts with you guys. Plus when November actually arrives I'm gonna need a posse of cheerleaders to get me through Nano with some sanity left *hehe*

So I hope that folk are not too narked that I said I was gonna review all 8 books and then only managed half that amount. I will be posting up Ellie's review later today and then tomorrow I'll do a post explaining what the fandazzle is going on with my Nano idea (I'm hoping you're gonna like it).

Also thank you to everyone who commented wishing me a Happy Birthday, the day itself was pretty meh but I partied myself silly on Saturday night at the Student Union's Back-to-School event *shudders* waaay too many guys in skirts :P

*loves and huggles*


In My Mailbox #23 The Post-Birthday One

 Sunday, 10 October 2010

Good mornin'  all! And would you believe it I am actually awake before noon and writing this on Sunday morning? (I was out vair late last night drinking and dancing so didn't have time to write it yesterday).
But never mind really since it's all worked out fine, I'm awake in plenty of time to post this *and* get dressed and off to my cricket training session at 12pm.

In my Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

This week there's no vlog since I showed all the books in Friday's (slightly delayed) Birthday Post
But I'm gonna show a photo of the books just in case you don't wanna hop over to the other post and watch the video (I think you should but I'm not gonna push everyone over there :P).

Books Acquired this week
Raised by Wolves - Jennifer Lynne Barnes
Finding Sky - Joss Stirling
Hunger - Michael Grant
Lies - Michael Grant
Leaving Paradise - Simone Elkeles
If I Stay - Gayle Forman
Angel - L.A. Weatherly
Bonjour Tristesse - Francoise Sagan
Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic - Scott Cunningham
A dictionary of World Mythology
Famous Last Words - compiled by Jonathon Green (!!!)
Natural History of the Vampire - Anthony Masters
Plus two grammar books for French and Spanish (not pictured)

Not a bad birthday haul methinks, although when I'm gonna have time to read all those I don't know since I've only read two books so far this month which is horrifying for me. I've still got to read Atonement for my Favs Fortnight and then by decree of Jess I *must* read Angel next (or bad things may happen :S)

Do be lovely and check out Jess's Guest Post from yesterday, she talks about what makes the Harry Potter series so special to her although she can't choose an outright favourite book.
I also did my review on the Prisoner of Azkaban over Here if you fancy having a gander at it.

But that's all we've got time for folks - I gotta fly!
What's in Your Mailbox this Week?


Book Review - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

 Saturday, 9 October 2010

I should have got this done for yesterday but since I fell behind earlier this week with my Favs Fortnight posts I'm now trying to play catch-up even though my capacity to write coherent reviews is probably a bit dented after the two behemoth reviews of *last* Friday and Saturday :P. The next two should be much shorter since I've not got time today to write loads.

Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J.K. Rowling
Date: 26/9/2010 PM (re-read)
Source: Bought
Description: Harry Potter is a wizard. He is in his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It's always a relief after summer with the Dursleys, however, Harry doesn't realise that this year will be just as eventful as the last two! The atmosphere at Hogwarts is tense. There's an escaped mass murderer on the loose, even the Muggles have been warned. The sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school and Harry, Ron and Hermione rapidly discover why all witches and wizards live in fear of being sent to Azkaban. Lessons, however, must go on and there are lots of new subjects in third year - Care of Magical Creatures and Divination among others. Plus the delights of Hogsmeade, the only village in the UK entirely populated by the magical community. (Description taken from

Well since there is very little that I can actually say about this series that you won't already know or have thought yourselves I shall keep this very brief and merely outline why this particular book in the series was the one I chose to include in my Favs Fortnight.

Ok first off I have to mention the slightly pragmatic reason that was because this was a lot smaller than Goblet of Fire (another of my favs) and so easier and quicker to re-read. I could have probably re-read GoF if I wanted but as this comes before it I thought it more appropriate to read my original favourite out of the series.

After Philosopher's Stone and the Chamber of Secrets the third book was just so brilliant (sheesh do I overuse that word). There's finally a little ray of hope for Harry that his family life might not be so hellish in the future and I just loved the new subjects that Harry, Ron and Hermione got to study in their third year, although I would have liked it more if we could have got to see some of Hermione's Ancient Runes & Arithmancy classes cos they sounded so awesome (but alas since the books are always from Harry's POV that was never going to happen).

This book was also a good deal darker and more complex than the previous two and bugger me if the Dementors are not some of the most chilling monsters I've ever come across in children's fiction - heck knows how my 8 year self dealt with this potential nightmares this book could cause to someone that young (I have no memories of my immediate feelings after finishing it for the first time). We also learned some very interesting things about Harry's father when he was at school. Sirius and Lupin became two of my favourite characters *why Jo why?!?* although for years until I saw the actual third film (which at the time I hated) I always read Sirius as Sirus without the "i". No idea why but I did.

Prisoner of Azkaban was my overall favourite of the first three books and it's still one of my top 3 books out of the whole series (the other two being Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix). It's sort of the last book where things are going reasonable well for Harry and there's still a smidgen of good in the world before everything gets progressively darker from the start of Goblet of Fire. I find it impossible to call either of the last two books my favourites even though I do love them, I just can't entirely forgive J.K. Rowling for Fred, Lupin, Tonks, Hedwig and Colin Creevey (pain in the arse that he always was to Harry he was still only 16).

So there you go, my rather spare thoughts on the 3rd in a series I'm sure I'll never tire of re-reading even long after I've finally given up hope of receiving my letter to Hogwarts :P (oh come on you can't fool me, I know you're all still waiting too)

My Rating: 5 out 5 Stars

So which Potter book is *your* favourite? Tell me in the comments or link to your own review :)
Well gotta dash now as dinner is calling my name *om nom nom*


Guest Post from Jess Hearts Books on Harry Potter!

Since I was re-reading one of my favourite Harry Potter books for my Favs Fortnight I thought it would be a smashing time to ask the lovely Jess (whom I'm sure you know by know is one of my best friends) to write a guest post about *her* favourite Harry Potter book. Of course she happily obliged and I now bring to you her thoughts on one of her favourite series of all-time.

Welcome to the Library - Jess Hearts Books!

*     *     *     *     *

For Rachel’s favourite fortnight I’m going to be talking about my ultimate favourite series which is probably a lot of people’s favourite - Harry Potter. When Rachel first approached me to do this post asking me what my favourite Harry Potter book was I couldn’t possibly decide because they all hold such a special place in my heart. Before reading the first Harry Potter book I did enjoy reading but Harry Potter was the first book that made me fall in love with reading, that had me obsessed, that made me want to spend every free moment I had devouring a book. I always felt that way about it right from the very first book. 
I can still remember to this day how I first found out about Harry Potter and his world of magic. In junior school we were required to do a half hours reading in the morning during registration and the girl sitting next to me was utterly engrossed in what she was reading I noticed over the following few days that she was reading this particular book at every moment she got, sometimes even sneakily reading it under the table during a lesson.  I remember thinking what kind of book would be so good that you’d risk missing playtime by getting a detention for not paying attention? 
So intrigued I asked her what she was reading and that book of course was Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. I saved up my lunch money that week and went hungry so I could buy my own copy of the book to read (it was fairly new back then and they didn’t have it in the library) and that was it, I was hooked. Every year after that I would eagerly await the release of the latest Harry Potter book. Right from my last summer before high school up until me working and sneaking out to get my pre ordered copy of the last book. 
I grew up with those books, I grew up with the characters as if they were friends, and now I get to relive it all a little bit every year when the new film comes out. It’s played such a huge role in my life and in my love for books as I’m sure it has for many other people. Only a short while ago I bought a brand new box set of the books because my others are that battered from countless re-reading sessions over the years, especially my poor paperback copies of the first 3 books that are hanging in there for dear life!
It’s so hard for me to choose a favourite Harry Potter book. I love The Philosopher’s Stone for introducing this world to me.  I love The Chamber of Secrets for making me start keeping a diary so if I ever died a piece of my soul would live on ( Hey, I was only 13 at the time!) which made me love writing. I love The Prisoner of Azkaban for being the scariest book that I read at that age and feeling really grown up for reading it late into the night and not having nightmares.  I love The Goblet of Fire for making me believe that the hardest of challenges are possible to win. I love The Order of the Phoenix for making me feel like I’m not alone in feeling like an outcast sometimes. I love The Half-Blood Prince for showing me that true friends will always stand by you no matter what, and lastly The Deathly Hallows for showing me that even though the battle may be hard and bloody if you do the right thing you’ll always get the right outcome. 

I learnt so much from these books and learn something new every time I read them. They hold the most special of places in my heart and for that reason no matter how many books I read or how many I fall in love with the Harry Potter series will always remain my most favourite and most cherished books.

Thank you so much Jess for agreeing to do a guest post and I hope it won't be too long until you're here again (both in blog form and real life :P).

I'll be hopefully having my (rather short) review of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban up later today along with an equally brief review of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader. So stick around for those.
Anyway I must dash, I have much to do and not a whole of time to do it in.
LadyV & Jess :D


Happy Birthday to Me!! (Contest Winner as well)

 Friday, 8 October 2010

I know that I should have done this post yesterday but I had to get up horribly early for a class and I spent a good deal of last night trying (and mostly failing) to do some work for a class I had today. Plus I lost the vlog I made yesterday showing my birthday presents when safari crashed before it finished uploading *grr*

But now I have a vlog full of awesome and I'm gonna have a Winner for my Birthday Bonanza Contest momentarily.

First off I'll show you what lovely awesome things I got for my birthday (most of them are books lol)

When the books that I bought with my Amazon voucher arrive then you'll see them in next week's IMM perhaps. A big Uber Thank You to Jess and Ellie for their gifts (Jess's being books and Ellie's the money to buy more books :P). Although the actual day of my birthday wasn't massively eventful since I had classes and stuff to do, I will be going out tomorrow up to the Student Union for the Back-to-School night which should be an awesome way to celebrate my birthday two days late.

However I did go for a walk with my flatmate Lucy yesterday and I took some photos of the Seafront where I live which I would like to show y'all.

This here is Constitution Hill which is actually rather nice to walk up (or if you're lazy there's a little train-thingy). Last year I lived in one of those sandy-coloured buildings by the sea.

This is the Old College (it's part of the Uni but I don't have any classes there). Doesn't it just look like Hogwarts?? Seriously?

And *this* is one of the reasons that I love living here so much - we get some gorgeous sunsets although I was a little early to get a really good photo but just looking at the sea is really peaceful y'know?

So I hope you liked that small taster of Wales :P

Now onto Important Matters!!!
4 weeks ago I announced my Birthday Bonanza contest with the prize for one lucky winner being their choice of any book (or two depending on price) from The Book Depository up to the value of £20 since I was turning 20 years old I thought it appropriate.
Now I've had 84 entries in total which is amazing so now I shall use to select a winner...

(I will be emailing her shortly and she'll have 48 hours to reply with mailing address and book choices)

Wahey!! Eventually I'll get another review up for My Favs Fortnight - I'm sorry for the disruption but since my classes started I've been feeling really exhausted and doing two massively gushy and long reviews in a row wiped me out mentally and I'm having a hard time mustering up the enthusiasm to write up the next few Favs. But never fear they shall be done although the reviews for the Harry Potter book and the Narnia book will be *much* shorter as there's very little I can say about them that people don't already know. 

I also will be having two guest posts over the next week from my dear friends and blogging buddies Jess of Jess Hearts Books and Ellie from Musings of a Bookshop Girl. Jess is gonna be talking about her love of the Harry Potter series and Ellie has got a review of one of her favourite books - Books, Baguettes, and Bedbugs by Jeremy Mercer. If you haven't heard of it then she will soon change that and have you wanting to go out and buy it tout de suite!

So that's what's been happening and what's in store for y'all. 
Hope everyone has had a fab week!
LadyV (now a whole year older) 


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