April, 2020 - I think I'm going to shut From My Bookshelf down for a while; maybe for good. I've been putting this together for quite a few years now and it's starting to feel a bit more of a chore. I'll keep my Goodreads connected, but with the state of the world right now, I just want to read without worrying about making sure I post something about it. Who knows - when the world starts to make some semblance of sense again, I may start actively posting here again. Until then, as always, happy reading!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 2013 Recap

Books Read

10 books finished
  1. Locke & Key, Vol 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez
  2. The Iron Giant by Ted Hughes
  3. Justice League, Vol 2: The Villain's Journey by Geoff Johns, illustrated by Jim Lee
  4. Delta of Venus by Anais Nin
  5. Locke & Key, Vol 2: Head Games by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez
  6. Locke & Key, Vol 3: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez
  7. Locke & Key, Vol 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez
  8. Locke & Key, Vol 5: Clockworks by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez
  9. A Calendar of Tales by Neil Gaiman and You
  10. Doctor Who: The Nameless City: Doctor Who Fiftieth Anniversary Eshorts, Second Doctor by Michael Scott
1397 pages total

Gender of author:
9 male, 1 female

Year of Publication:
1 - 1977
1 - 2008
1 - 2009
1 - 2010
2 - 2011
1 - 2012
3 - 2013

Books Acquired

23 books total

4 hardcovers purchased at local Indie
4 paperbacks purchased at local Indie
4 used purchased at local Indie (3 hardcover, 1 paperback)
4 graphic novel purchased at local comic shop, 2 at my local Indie, 2 from Amazon
1 Kindle book purchased thru Amazon

4 purchased on vacation at Goodwill (1 hardcover, 3 paperback)
2 were given to me as gifts (1 hardcover, 1 paperback)

7 have been read

2013 Year to Date Totals

Books Read: 18
Pages Read: 2658

Books Acquired: 28
Books Acquired Read: 10

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

We have a winner!

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Congrats to Matthew S. for winning the signed copy of The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead! Random.org selected his entry number as the winning entry. I'm sending you an email, Matthew, for your address so I can mail out your book, and thanks to everyone who entered!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New 15th Anniversary Covers for Harry Potter

Scholastic announced today that the Harry Potter books are going to be getting new cover treatments for the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The books will be released in September. The new covers are by Kazu Kibuishi, probably best known for his series, Amulet.

Waiting on Wednesday 13 II 2013 - The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that are eagerly anticipated.

My "can't-wait-to-read" selection for this week is:

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The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Product Description:
An all-new, edge-of-your seat adventure from James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, The Eye of Minds is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.

Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.

And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team.

But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

James Dashner always has a pretty exciting story to tell, so I'm looking forward to this new series.

The Eye of Minds will be released on October 8, 2013 from Delacorte Books for Young Readers.

Want to preorder a copy of the book? Just click here!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Justice League, Vol 2: The Villain's Journey by Geoff Johns, art by Jim Lee

Title: Justice League, Vol 2: The Villain's Journey
Series: Justice League
Authors: Geoff Johns, art by Jim Lee
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9781401237646
Publisher: DC Comics
Twitter: @JimLee, @geoffjohns, @DCComics
Format: Hardcover
Available: February 5, 2013
Rating: 4/5 stars

Well, I have to say that this arc was a large improvement over the previous arc from the first collected edition. Taking place a couple of years after the events in Origin, we are thrown right into the action as the League discovers that several of the villains they have fought in the intervening years have been attacked themselves and have been forced to give up what they know about the League and its weaknesses. What follows is an interesting study into what it means to have the powers that the League has and exactly what kind of good they have been using those powers for. They are forced to reexamine their role in the world as the villain, Graves, uses what he learns about their weaknesses against them. But why does Graves want to destroy the Justice League? That's the big mystery!

There are still some awkward story-telling moments, especially when referring to events that happened between Origin and this story, since to my knowledge, those events were never shown in any comics. Geoff Johns writing seems to be slightly tighter this time around, as he doesn't need to go through and re-introduce each character, which I found partly unnecessary. Jim Lee's art is astounding as usual, and the artists that stepped in to help finish up the issues all did admirable jobs themselves.

Overall, I felt this was a much better story than Origin, but it looks like right as Johns and Lee are hitting their stride with this book, they are handing off the reigns to another creative team the book is be relaunched as Justice League of America. I'm not sure how that all plays out, but that's what the advertisements at the end of the volume seem to indicate. Either way, I think this is worth reading, and will probably pick up the next edition, just to see where this story is going now.

To purchase any of the books in this post, and help my local Indie bookstore, and help me buy more books, click the links above!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Iron Giant by Ted Hughes, illustrated by Laura Carlin

Title: The Iron Giant
Author: Ted Hughes, illustrated by Laura Carlin
Copyright: 1968 (original), 2011 (current edition)
Pages: 104
ISBN: 9780375871498
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 4/5 stars

Well, this was certainly a pleasant surprise. I found this loverly illustrated gift edition at my local Indie the other evening, and I'm a huge fan of the film version directed by Brad Bird that was released several years ago so I thought I'd pick this edition up. While there are some significant changes from the book to the film (instead of saving a small town from an atomic bomb as seen in the movie, the Iron Giant helps save the Earth from a large space-dragon), the message of peace is still essentially the same. I can understand why Brad Bird made the changes to the movie that he did, as I don't think this version of the story would have translated well to film, but I like the story that Ted Hughes tells just as much. Taken on their own, each version of this story is excellent.

I'd recommend this whether or not you've seen the animated version of the story. While being a little on the idealistic side, this is still a great story about peace.

To purchase any of the books in this post, and help my local Indie bookstore, and help me buy more books, click the links above!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Locke & Key, Vol 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill, art by Gabriel Rodriguez


Title: Locke & Key, Vol 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
Series: Locke & Key
Authors: Joe Hill, art by Gabriel Rodriguez
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 158
ISBN: 9781600102370
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Author Website: Joe Hill Fiction, Gabriel Rodriguez's DeviantArt
Twitter: @joe_hill, @GR_comics, @IDWPublishing
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 4/5 stars

The first volume in Joe Hill's horror series from IDW Publishing, Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft, sets up a nice storyline and some very interesting story concepts for future installments. The basic premise follows the Locke family, who has moved to the west coast trying to start a new life after the family has been attacked and the father, Renny Locke, is killed by some local high school students. The home that they move to in Lovecraft, Massachusetts, called Keyhouse, is a mansion with numerous doors and keys, and depending on which key you use, these doors open onto different realities or can change a person (in one case, into a ghost or in another, using the key will change your sex if you walk through a door). The house has apparently been in the family for decades, and Renny Locke's brother is the current resident of the house.

There is a ghost who lives in the well house who is unable to escape from the well house without the aid of the Anywhere Key, a key able to open any of the doors in Keyhouse to anywhere else the user wants to go. The well house ghost uses numerous means to escape, manipulating both the psychopathic high school student who murdered Renny Locke, and the youngest Locke child, Bode, to try to locate the Anywhere Key. Whether or not this ghost is benevolent is uncertain by the end of the story.

Joe Hill's writing is just creepy enough to give the story a real edge while at the same time not making it seem too far-fetched. Gabriel Rodriguez's art really captures the essence of the story.

I'm intrigued by how future volumes will play out, and I guess that's the important part; that the story has kept my attention enough to want to read more.

To purchase any of the books in this post, and help my local Indie bookstore, and help me buy more books, click the links above!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 6 II 2013 - The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that are eagerly anticipated.

My "can't-wait-to-read" selection for this week is:

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The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

Product Description:
More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings—merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.

Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson brings his unique brand of epic storytelling to the teen audience with an engrossing tale of danger and suspense—the first of a series. With his trademark skills in world-building, Sanderson has created a magic system that is so inventive and detailed that that readers who appreciate games of strategy and tactics just may want to bring Rithmatics to life in our world.

So many great books coming from Brandon Sanderson, and each one seems original fresh. He's quickly becoming one of my favorite fantasy authors!

The Rithmatist will be released on May 14, 2013 from Tor Teen.

Want to preorder a copy of the book? Just click here!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Saga, Vol 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples

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Title: Saga, Vol 1
Series: Saga
Authors: Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9781607066019
Publisher: Image Comics
Artist Website: fstaples.blogspot.com
Twitter: @fionastaples, @ImageComics
Format: Paperback
Rating: 3/5 stars

So, there's been a lot of buzz in the circles that I travel in about this series from Image Comics, but I just didn't get around to reading it yet. When my local comic shop, Clem's, announced a deal that they were going to run to get new readers in on the series where if you bought the collected edition of issues 1-6, they'd give you a free copy of issue 7, I thought I'd bite and take a chance on the series.

Well... I'm not as blown away by the story as I thought I'd be. Part SciFi Space Opera, part Fantasy, part Romeo & Juliet love story, Saga tells the story of Marko and Alana, each from opposite warring races who have fallen in love and have even had a child (no spoilers here, the child is born on page 2 of the first issue). What is interesting is Alana's race finds their power in technology, while Marko's race finds their power in magic, so their daughter is a mixture of this science and magic. What follows is Marko and Alana on the run from their respective governments and armies, bounty hunters, and in some cases the indigenous life of the planet they are on, trying to keep their daughter alive. I'm assuming that the daughter lives, as there are parts of the story that she is narrating as she remembers events.

Fiona Staples' artwork is excellent, and Brian K. Vaughan's writing is certainly up to his usual standards, there just wasn't a whole lot that happens in these first 6 issues, and I think what happened is that the story was just so hyped up for me prior to reading it, I think the series never had a chance to impress me all that much. I haven't read the free copy of issue 7 yet, and I'll more than likely pick up the second volume of the collected editions, as I'm curious enough to see where the cliffhanger in issue 6 takes them, but if there stands a strong chance that I may not read the series beyond that. It's not that it's a bad series, just not for me.

To purchase any of the books in this post, and help my local Indie bookstore, and help me buy more books, click the links above!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Soulless the Manga, Vol 2 by Gail Carriger, art by Rem

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Title: Soulless the Manga, Vol 2
Series: Parasol Protectorate Manga Series, Book 2
Authors: Gail Carriger, art by Rem
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780316182065
Publisher: Yen Press
Author Website: gailcarriger.com
Twitter: @gailcarriger, @yenpress
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4/5 stars

It's no secret that I adore, adore, Gail Carriger, her writing, and her characters. I had the pleasure of meeting her last year, and she was just as gracious and as courteous and as fun as I imagined her being. Her books are clever and witty and just a romping good time of a story. I was curious how her stories would translate into art form when I heard that there were manga versions of her books being released, and I'm happy to say that they translate marvelously. I think a lot of that has to do with Rem's artwork. She has a way of illustrating Ms. Carriger's humor fluidly onto paper, and her art is fresh and whimsical while at the same time being detailed and intricate. I'm thoroughly impressed with the entire presentation.

As for a review of the story itself, I'll direct you to my review of Changeless, the volume of the Parasol Protectorate this volume is based on. The entire team behind the manga versions have kept so well to the original story, that my original review will do.

I'd recommend this book to fans of the original series or fans of manga or fans of a really well-written story, but would also recommend reading the volume one first, as this is a definite continuing story from one volume to the next.

To purchase any of the books in this post, and help my local Indie bookstore, and help me buy more books, click the links above!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Win a signed copy of The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Are you a fan of Richelle Mead? Are you excited about the release of her upcoming book, The Indigo Spell? Would you like to win a signed hardcover copy of her previous book in the Bloodlines series, The Golden Lily? If you answered yes to all three of those questions, you've come to the right place!

I've got a signed hardcover copy of The Golden Lily up for grabs to one lucky winner. I picked this book up last year when it was released for a friend and had it signed, but she ended up with a copy of her own, so I held on to this one, figuring I'd find a good time to run a giveaway for it.

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Just use the widget below to enter to win, and be sure to stop by my friend Irish's blog, Ticket To Anywhere. She's running a contest for a finished copy of The Indigo Spell right now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway