Coming soon! A brand new From My Bookshelf experience.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Signing with Matt Bell, author of In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods

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Last night I got the chance to meet Matt Bell at my local Indie, whose debut novel, In the House upon the Dirt between the Woods and the Lake, came out this week from Soho Press. Matt is a local Michigan author, and his debut novel has been getting some attention, so I was pretty excited to get to meet him. Matt is really friendly, great to talk to, and was extremely appreciative of everyone coming to the signing last night.

I'm really intrigued by his book. He did a short reading from two chapters, and it seems to be a sort of modern, magical realism fairy tale. I do think I'm going to have to be in a particular mood to want to read it, though. I got the impression during his reading last night that I'm going to want to devote all of my attention to the story while I'm reading it to make sure I don't miss any of the subtler points of the story.

Look for a review to be coming soon. Until then, happy reading!

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, June 19, 2013

Harbinger, Vol 1: Omega Rising by Joshua Dysart, art by Khari Evans

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Title: Harbinger, Vol 1: Omega Rising
Series: Harbinger
Authors: Joshua Dysart, art by Khari Evans
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9780979640957
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Twitter: @ValiantComics, @JoshuaDysart
Format: Paperback
Available: January 22, 2013
Rating: 5/5 stars

This is more like it! I know Valiant was pushing X-O Manowar to be the new flagship title for the their relaunch, but I feel like Harbinger should have been the flagship book. There was just so much cool going on in this book!

I'm not sure how much of this story matched the original series, but this one was fantastic. The best way I can describe it is a mix of Akira and the movie Chronicle with a side helping of X-Men. Peter Stancheck, a harbinger who may be able to bring about a catastrophic future, is recruited by Toyo Harada to join his Harbinger Foundation and help not only gain control of his power, but also give Peter a place to belong. Soon, thought, Peter discovers that not everything at Harbinger is as it seems and that he has been manipulated. After escaping from Harbinger with the help of another harbinger, Peter knows he has to strike back against Harbinger.

Honestly, I really loved this book. In fact, I can't remember a graphic novel that I enjoyed as much as this. The story is great; the pacing is spot on; the art is fantastic. This is definitely a series that I will be following as future volumes are released!

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, June 10, 2013

Oh my gosh!

I don't usually brag about books that I've gotten in the mail from publishers, but oh my gosh am I excited about the mail I came home to today from HarperCollins! The picture says it all. I NEED to go read this now.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bibliopunkk is like a phoenix!

For my readers who also follow Bibliopunkk (and if you don't, you should - she runs a really nice site - you can find her for the time being here), due to circumstances beyond her control, her domain has been lost. Like the phoenix of legend, however, she's rising again! You'll be able to find her soon at Bibliopunkk Reads. I'll post up more information when her new domain goes live.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 5 VI 2013 - The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion: A Novel by Fannie Flagg

"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 All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion: A Novel by Fannie Flagg

Product Description:
The one and only Fannie Flagg, beloved author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, and I Still Dream About You, is at her hilarious and superb best in this new comic mystery novel about two women who are forced to reimagine who they are and what they are capable of.

Mrs. Sookie Poole of Point Clear, Alabama, has just married off the last of her three daughters and is looking forward to relaxing and perhaps traveling with her husband, Earle. The only thing left to contend with now is her mother, the formidable and imposing Lenore Simmons Krackenberry—never an easy task. Lenore may be a lot of fun for other people, but is, for the most part, an overbearing presence for her daughter. Then one day, quite by accident, Sookie discovers a shocking secret about her mother’s past that knocks her for a loop and suddenly calls into question everything she ever thought she knew about herself, her family, and her future.

Feeling like a stranger in her own life, and fearful of confronting her mother with questions, Sookie begins a search for answers that takes her to California, the Midwest, and back in time, to the 1940s, when an irrepressible woman named Fritzi takes on the job of running her family’s filling station. With so many men off to war, it’s up to Fritzi and her enterprising younger sisters to keep it going. Soon truck drivers are changing their routes to fill up at the All-Girl Filling Station. But before long, Fritzi sees an opportunity for an even more groundbreaking adventure when she receives a life-changing invitation from the U.S. military to assist in the war effort. As Sookie learns more and more about Fritzi’s story, she finds herself with new answers to the questions she’s been asking her whole life.

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion is a perfect combination of comedy, mystery, wisdom, and charm. Fabulous, fun-loving, spanning decades, generations, and centered on a little-known aspect of America’s twentieth-century story, The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion is Fannie Flagg, the bestselling “born storyteller” (The New York Times Book Review), at her irresistible best.

Fannie Flagg is one of my favorite authors, and I never hesitate to pick up her novels when they are released. Usually, they end up being a breath of fresh air for me, and instantly read like old book friends. I can't wait for this newest book to be released!

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion: A Novel will be released on November 5, 2013, from Random House.

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

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

X-O Manowar, Vol 1: By The Sword by Robert Venditti, art by Cary Nord

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Title: X-O Manowar, Vol 1: By The Sword
Series: X-O Manowar
Authors: Robert Venditti, art by Cary Nord
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 112
ISBN: 9780979640940
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Twitter: @ValiantComics, @carynord, @robertvenditti
Format: Paperback
Available: December 4, 2012
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

X-O Manowar is being relaunched as the flagship title for the newly revamped Valiant Comics. Back in the 90s, Valiant was one of the stronger of the influx of new independent publishers that were popping up due to the strong stories they were producing, but as with all good things, their time came to an end. Last year, Valiant was rekindled and started fresh, rebooting some of their more popular titles from the 90s, and my local comic shop was running a deal for the first volume of X-O Manowar and Harbinger for $5 each, so I thought I'd give them both a try.

Aric, heir to the Visigoth throne, has been battling against the armies of the Roman Empire until he and his men are captured by an alien race to be used as slaves. After years of being subjugated by the alien race, Aric leads an uprising on their ship which leads him to accidentally activating the aliens' greatest weapon, the X-O Manowar armor, which they have yet to successfully harness. After he destroys the alien ship, he uses the armor to fly back to Earth, where he lands in modern times. And that's basically all that happens.

Don't get me wrong. It was a good start to a story, but to be using this as the flagship title for their reboot was a poor choice, in my opinion. There just wasn't much to this story. I'll be picking up the next collected edition when it is released, because there is definitely the potential for some great storytelling here, what with Aric having to come to terms with being out of his own time as well as learning how the armor operates.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade by Patrick Dennis

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Title: Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade
Author: Patrick Dennis
Copyright: 1955 (2001)
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780767908191
Publisher: Broadway
Format: Paperback
Available: Reprint edition September 11, 2001
Rating: 5/5 stars

Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade is one of my favorite books. I stumbled on the reprint edition when it came out in 2001 at my local Barnes & Noble, and the cover caught my eye (yes, I did judge this book by its cover, and I'm so glad that I did, since it caused a love affair with Mame that has lasted for twelve years now). Every couple of years, I need a Mame fix and I pull the book off the shelves and reacquaint myself with all the characters and madcap adventures found within (as well as the sequel, Around the World with Auntie Mame.

This current read was done with my book group (I'll be honest: this was my first selection for the book group, which had already been established when they invited me to join, and I was a little concerned how the book would be received. I'm happy to report that it was a rousing success with everyone!), so it was interesting to have three fresh perspectives on the book, as sometimes after so many readings, some of the finer nuances get lost in the sheer delight of rereading a favorite book (at least it does for me).

Mame herself, quite naturally, was the name reason for everyone enjoying the book. Starting off in the Roaring 20s, we watch as Mame's fortunes wax and wane with the Stock Market crash of the late 1920s, and how she struggles to keep her little make-shift family together, which she does through her own indomitable will. Told through the eyes of her nephew, Patrick, we watch as Mame raises him to the best of her ability, and while her techniques for raising a child may not be orthodox, they are certainly effective. Eventually, Mame meets the perfect man for her, and her fortunes are restored and she's back to her madcap ways. Through everything, though, Mame remains strong and resolute in her beliefs of equality and what's best for the people around her. What starts off as a seemingly ridiculous little adventure with a ragtag cast of characters becomes a heartfelt testament to what family means, both with the family we are born with and the family that we make for ourselves, and how important it is to stay true to yourself, even in the face of adversity.

For me, this will be a book that I will go back to over and over again for the rest of my life. I adore it; I adore the character of Mame; and I adore the message that Patrick Dennis leaves us with this book. If you've never read it before, please give it a chance. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

May 2013 Recap

Books Read

4 books finished (I'm embarrassed to even post this month's recap...)
  1. All-New X-Men, Vol 1: Yesterday's X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Stuart Immonen
  2. X-Men Omnibus, Vol 1 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, et al.
  3. X-Men: Schism by Jason Aaron, et al.
  4. Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman
1208 pages total

Gender of author:
4 male

Year of Publication:
1 - 20091 - 2012
2 - 2013

Books Acquired

10 books total

2 new graphic novels purchased at local comic shops
1 Kindle book purchased thru Amazon
1 new hardcover thru Amazon
6 new purchased as author signings at local Indie (4 paperback, 2 hardcover)

4 have been read

2013 Year to Date Totals

Books Read: 43
Pages Read: 8160

Books Acquired: 65
Books Acquired Read: 19