House of Secrets Panel Ned Vizzini @ned_vizzini, Chris Columbus #BookFest

9780062192486.600x600-75TL; DR
:  I attended the panel with Ned Vizzini and Chris Columbus at LATFOB and just missed out on the opportunity to get a copy of their new book, House of Secrets. Continue reading “House of Secrets Panel Ned Vizzini @ned_vizzini, Chris Columbus #BookFest”

LATFOB the #BookFest Day One

I really should go to sleep.  I don’t even know why I went to the gym tonight.  Today was really tiring because it was like the book amusement park.  The book theme park.  No, I’m not going to call it the Disneyland of books because there was no admission.  HA.  YOU THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO BE CLICHE and I managed to avoid it.

So today is the first day of the 2013 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the annual big book event in Los Angeles where I’m surprised at how many people come around to look at book stuff and hear authors and what not.  Los Angeles is not a big reading town.  That’s one thing that I have noticed while traveling on the east coast…people with their noses in books (on mass transit and so forth).  And not shallow glossy magazines.  Books that sometimes impress me, the former bookseller and intellectual snob. Continue reading “LATFOB the #BookFest Day One”

Vromans Pop Up sucks up my cash

Oh Vromans. You are my local independent bookstore and I have given you lots of my moneys. I am the mayor of your Hastings Ranch branch and for some reason you think my address is the location of your old Museum Store on Lake Avenue. But when you tweeted that you opened up a temporary Pop Up store so like a fool I came by and purchased seventeen books at a time when I wasn’t looking for books to read.  (Of course they’re all remainders but they were half off the stickered price)

Selections include:

  1. Blue Bloods the graphic novel
  2. Smollett’s The Expedition of Humphry Clinker!  “The most laughable story that has ever been written since the goodly art of novel-writing began”
  3. American Turnaround.  I remember Ed Whitacre was on like The Daily Show or something.
  4. Fresh Off the Boat.  I saw this in Entertainment Weekly and had no intention of purchasing it.
  5. Native Son.  Also known as a book I didn’t read in high school.
  6. The Orphan Master’s Son.  Also known as the book that John Green says beats The Fault In Our Stars.  I don’t know if it’s better or if people just vote for it more or who knows what.
  7. Every You, Every Me.  A novel by David Levithan that I did not enjoy.  As I recall I purchased the eBook and was hoping that seeing the pictures on paper would be an improvement.
  8. You Killed Wesley Payne.  I just met Sean Beaudoin and sadly he went back home to Seattle so it’s not going to be easy to get him to sign this copy but I remember looking at it in bookstores before.
  9. Divergent.
  10. In-N-Out Burger.  I own this in hardcover but it’s in boxes.
  11. The Lightning Thief.  Maybe I’ll even get around to Sea of Monsters in time for the movie!
  12. Scarlet.  I forget if I got this in ARC at ALA.  But if not, here it is!
  13. Distrust That Particular Flavor.
  14. Immortal City.  Because you know, unrealistically beautiful angels need to be objectified in text.
  15. and a signed copy of Reached!

Bookswaps are Awesome! But I went overboard.

IMG_5480A little while back my book club the ya book council held a book swap at the Glendale Public Library  Montrose Branch and I was super excited because I wanted to get rid of some titles I had accumulated over the years that I didn’t really want to hold on to.  I live amongst stacks of books… which is scary because I am consuming most of my books in electronic mediums. Continue reading “Bookswaps are Awesome! But I went overboard.”

In which I exchange words with Stephenie Meyer and stand in more line than I’ve ever stood in at the Grove*

The previous record long line I waited for at the Grove was for the iPhone 4.  I believe that was the point in which I decided “no more” and decided that I would have my new iPhones shipped to me instead of picking them up at the store.  That was the day I met Donald Glover and I think Adam Pally but that was before Adam Pally was Max Blum.  And of course if you ask them they wouldn’t remember me because I didn’t introduce myself and also, not someone significant enough to remember.  My words.  😉

Stephenie Meyer is an author, and this past Friday (the 15th of March in the year 2013 common era) she made an appearance at the Barnes & Noble bookstore at the Grove in sunny Southern California.  I had hoped for a little discussion of the book or movie but I realize in hindsight with all of the people there for signing there would be no way that all of us could be held in one space short of an auditorium or the Hollywood Bowl.  Her previous works are rather well known: Twilight, New MoonEclipse, and Breaking Dawn.  These books involve Pacific Northwestern Vampires I believe and were made into successful movies.  I haven’t seen the movies nor have I read any of those books.

She has also written a book called The Host which involves an invasion by extra terrestrial aliens who come and infiltrate human bodies.  There’s a movie coming out in the very near future based on this book and the Barnes & Noble event was in support of the book and movie.  I did not manage to finish the book before attending the event.  Not only was Stephenie Meyer was there but also the films stars’ Max Irons, Jake Abel and Diane Kruger.  Sadly I had hoped that Saoirse Ronan would be there (a previous Facebook post indicated such) but no such luck.  I had even watched Saoirse’s Graham Norton interview to try and learn how to pronounce her name but … that was in vain.

I arrived in the morning shortly after Barnes & Noble opened and found myself in a very long line to buy books to get wristbands to come back later to get in a line that didn’t move for over an hour.  There was a lot of waiting in line today.  Multiple lines.  I should have timed it all; but I can say I didn’t finish before 4:30pm (event was scheduled to start at 2pm).

Now the words I exchanged with Stephenie were very mild and I admit I wrote that headline to strike peoples interest more than the significance of words.  They were a simple “hi” and “thanks” for signing my books.  If wikipedia is correct and Mrs. Meyer is 39 she is very well preserved.  (Perhaps her knowledge of vampires is drawn on personal experience?  She’ll stay eternally young)

I also had one of the books I had signed by the cast because … really I came to see Max and Jake.  They also signed a poster (the actors) and I got a free set of buttons.

I do wish though that I had a companion who waited in line with me.  It’s so hard in these trying modern days to amuse myself only equipped with an iPod nano, an iPad, an iPhone 5 and a Sony Reader.  They run out of batteries eventually … with people, you just add more candy and it seems to fuel them for a bit.

Speaking of Candy, the nice people at Dylan’s Candy Bar sampled us some gummy teeth and gave us a 10% coupon.  Granted the last time I wandered in the prices were amusingly pricy but … I don’t really need to eat large amounts of candy.  Candy is a treat to be enjoyed sparingly.  Or at least that’s what I think.

I do fear that I was surrounded by girls half my age.  Nobody seemed to think it unusual that I was there and I appreciate that in Hollywood even I seem to be acceptably normal.  Anything else I can mention?  Oh…I was slightly proud of the fact that I was civil to Mrs. Meyers as I cannot say that I enjoyed the very long wait (not her fault) nor have I enjoyed the book (probably her fault).  I will say I respect her.  I don’t have a body of work to speak of and even if I did, who is to say that my writing wouldn’t be poor, rife with characters that people find annoying and awful.

Oh I can’t write a review of The Host.  I think I’m now over half way finished and color me shocked:  I want to finish.  So even given all the indications I’ve provided that I object, I still intend to finish the book (at least before I see the movie).

So many books to read, so little time.  This post may be long and not sense making which is symptomatic of me being very tired.  I didn’t sleep a lot the previous night because I was so excited about seeing Mrs. Meyers (and Max and Jake).

If for some reason Stephenie Meyer reads this and I hope you know better than to read blog posts regarding yourself, thank you for coming.  It’s very nice of you to make time to come out and see the hundreds if not thousands of fans.

YABC the Young Adult Book Council

I am a member of a book club.  The Young Adult Book Council or YABC meets monthly and we’ve been meeting for over five years.  I think that’s pretty impressive.  I will admit that I haven’t been the best member … back in 2008 I didn’t read five of the selections.  In 2009 I didn’t finish two of the books and in 2011 I missed one of those as well.  I’m getting better but then again I also think the book selections are getting better.

One of the five books I didn’t read in 2008 was Breaking Dawn.  I haven’t read any of the twilight books and I didn’t want to read them out of order and I didn’t want to read all of them.  There’s always that one chance that I might actually enjoy them and then I would just feel awful about having been so harsh on my prejudgements.  This is one of those circumstances where I have a comfortable ignorance about Twilight and so forth.  However next week I just might get the opportunity to meet Stephanie Meyer and I’m going to try and read The Host before then.  Fingers crossed I don’t regret that plan.

On my iPad I keep a document in Pages containing the previous book selections in month and who picked it.  I have not always been especially proud of my selections.  At one point I selected Ned Vizinni’s Be More Chill and I finished it early realized that it was awful so I went to a challenged classic I had never read: The Giver.

Next weekend we’re doing a book swap.  I’ve been trying to find appropriate titles to use for the book swap.  It’s kind of hard because most of the books in my library I haven’t read so I don’t know if I want to get rid of them.  Also, I figured I should stay in an age appropriate realm.  You know, teenagers nervous about sex, not sex hounds dripping with fluids.  (And so forth)  Through the various boxes of books I have I did come across some of the old selections from those early years in the group and I don’t know if I should get rid of them…some of them I think I should read first 🙂

Young Adult Book Council (on the web)

Tower? Oh.

So this is like a review I posted on Goodreads and I’m reposting here, but with spoilers.

Tower? Oh.

Once upon a time…a few years ago I came across a book called the James Deans and I read this book that was not about a boy band with a 1950s theme.  This was my first introduction to Reed Farrel Coleman and he’s on my list of “mystery genre authors I will read.”  Sadly, that’s a small list but what you can do with a finite amount of life to read with.  I think the only other authors on the list are Don Winslow and Charlie Huston.

Tower is a book that was written by Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman about Nicky and Todd, two young men from Brooklyn and their lives and stuff.  Nicky is a violent sort filled with rage.  Todd loves Nicky but isn’t in love with Nicky, it’s not that kind of a book where two boys have their hearts broken by each other.  Nah, there’s women for that. Continue reading “Tower? Oh.”