Lately

January 20, 2013 at 1:58am

This is me saying: Hey, I (like to think that I) have a life and I (definitely) have fixations. 

Oh, and that they’re (mostly) books. 

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"Big" change of 2013 #1: I took down most of my band posters a couple of weeks ago. It felt strange, but right. I still like bandom, and all, but maybe it’s time to focus on other things. Or maybe I’ve just outgrown it. 

I finally put up the Maira Kalman prints that I tore out of my paperback copy of Why We Broke Up. I can’t wait to buy more of those cheap frames from Daiso for the rest!

And I left The Academy Is… and William Beckett up on my wall. Because they’re them. (And, okay, the other wall—not pictured—still has my signed The Maine poster and Fall Out Boy, as a foolish lucky charm of sorts in hopes that they end their flipping hiatus this year.) 

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My friend Mariel went to Europe with her family for the holidays and to prepare, she asked me to recommend books set in Paris. I told her to try Anna and the French Kiss, of course, and she loved it! When I found out that she’s actually going to the City of Light, I all but demanded (okay, I demanded) that she take armadillions of photos and that she post in-depth blog reports entries about everything that happened while she was there. You know, so I can live vicariously through her.

She took the ones above (and is pictured in the middle right at FREAKING KILOMETER ZERO), and they’re so good! She also got me a little something from Shakespeare & Co. (it’s a collection of Neruda poems, a reference to Anna; excuse me while I fangirl), so now I pretty much owe her my soul. 

Man, if I ever get to Shakespeare & Co., I don’t even know. HEMINGWAY WAS THERE. 

Anyway. I love Mariel’s posts about Paris and Amsterdam and Switzerland! And I now ship her with the boy who smiled at her somewhere in Paris. Swoooon. Read about (and get dreamy googly eyes, and gush over) all of it on her blog!

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Speaking of Paris! AHHH!

While writing this post I got an anonymous message asking whether I’d already gotten a physical copy of Just One Day. The answer is a squeal-y YES!!! (Also, anon, thanks for liking the Dan Howell interview—I just eeped—and wishing us luck on Elision!)

I’ve been waiting for this book to make its way into Fully Booked branches since it was released. (Actually, since I found out about it months ago.) I was even kind of hoping for it to be released a week early locally, the way Every Day was last year. Yesterday I was about to give up hope when a last-minute trip to National put me face-to-face with four copies, two hardcover, two paperback. Being the sucker for first editions and ~*reading luxury*~ that I am (and since it was a freaking two-hundred-peso difference), I got it on hardbound.

The cover is so shiny and embossed and IT’S GORGEOUS IN PRINT LIKE I KNEW IT WOULD BE. I’m tempted to re-read, but jeez, it’s only been a week since I finished it. Chill out, self! 

Seriously though. Favorite read this year. So far. And maybe for real. 

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Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar celebrates the 50th anniversary of its release (under Plath’s pseudonym Victoria Lucas) this year, and I figured I’d put off reading The House of Tomorrow and get to this first to join the festivities, or something like that. I have to finish On the Fringe first (more on that below), but I’m pretty excited to finally devour it! Check out different covers and editions through the years for this amazing novel here!

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Now, I have a lot of unreleased books that I’m waiting eagerly for. A lot of my Goodreads shelves exist solely for the purpose of keeping track of them! One book that I’m absolutely certain I’m going to love is Who Done It?, an anthology edited by Jon Scieszka. I found it while scrolling through Gayle Forman’s list of books on Goodreads. And, damn, look at that batshit-crazy-I-can’t-even-gush-without-cussing awesome list of contributors—the only one I’m not familiar (and, ahem, in author love) with is Jacquelyn Mitchard, who, upon further research, has apparently written loads of amazing books. There are over 80 writers who worked on this anthology. 

So at first it was like, “OMFFG, my favorite YA authors trying their hand at detective fiction and, look, bonus charitable purposes.” BUT NO. DON’T EVEN. Just when you think you’ve done the literary equivalent of winning the lottery, the book description decides to blow your mind and make you so happy you want to hug your laptop: Who Done It? opens with an invitation to a party being thrown by an almost-evil douchebag editor who is soon murdered.

And our beloved authors? They’re suspects. The anthology consists of brief first-person narratives in which they must provide alibis and prove their innocence. Makes you wonder, well, who did it! It’s like the Clue books for the 2010s, only so. Much. Cooler. Hold me back, ‘cause I can’t fucking wait!

WHO KILLED MR. BODDY MILDEW?

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I’m so glad my earlier fear of not being able to set a good pace for reading this year was for naught. I’ve finished nine books so far out of my goal of one hundred, and I’m almost done with the one I’m currently reading. Granted, two of the books are children’s, but still. I’m really excited to get to all the novels I’m interested in! I’m still fixed on YA and a little new adult, but I just can’t resist some of the general stuff; they seem really good! (I’m also obsessed with all of these great, great covers!)

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Speaking of great, great covers. This one by Chris Silas Neal for The Death of Bees is fantastic, so I just had to put this here. 

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I’ve been speaking to author Rainbow Rowell, interviewing her for Elision, and I’m really happy with the finished product, which we’ll publish in February (I can’t wait until March, although it’s supposed to tie in with the US release of Eleanor & Park!). I have a copy of Attachments, though I have yet to read it. It seems nice, though. As for E&P, I finished it a couple days ago and it broke my heart in the best way. I loved it. I don’t want to spoil the interview, but Rainbow Rowell kind of talks about writing a sequel…

Anyway. Her next novel comes out in September and is called Fangirl. And it’s got a lot to do with fandoms and fan fiction. And the character’s in her first year of college, which I am so down with. And the cover’s illustrated by Noelle Stevenson, Tumblr’s very own gingerhaze. And (whew!) according to Rainbow Rowell, she falls in love, too. Jesus. You know this will be perfect and a half. 

It’s been such a pleasure and very interesting talking to one of my possible new favorite writers! 

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Finally, this is what I’m reading right now. As you can see in my “Currently Reading” section. I’ll relay the details in my next Novel Update post. For now, let me just say that I’m not big on paranormal YA and I haven’t been into ghost stories since borrowing R.L. Stine books from my school’s library back in grade school (what the hell does that say about me?!) (okay, fine, Lisa Schroeder, then), but this. This is just breathtaking. I’m mesmerized and I only put it down when I work on Elision, which is a lot of the time. It’s so, so good. And sad. But, wow, every time Claire and Daniel get their four and a half minutes together, expect some swooning. 

Oh, and let me tell you a little bit about Daniel—his name is Daniel Holland. He has dark hair and dark eyes. And, well, dark hair that’s always in his dark eyes. He’s got wonderful dimples and olive-tan skin. Semi-incredible fashion sense. He narrates some of the chapters while Claire narrates the others. But, really, sound familiar?

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Yeah, well, I thought so.

Every time I start to imagine Dan as the male lead (it usually starts with the hair and eyes bit), the book literally turns the character into him for me. Okay, not literally. But I swear, it’s like, okay, author, are you secretly on YouTube like all the time? Is your book just Phan fan fiction in disguise?!??!?!?

I don’t even have to try anymore. 

I mean, Daniel Holland, for Pete’s sake. The only thing that’s off is the fact that Daniel Holland is on the track team. That, and he loves Butterfingers, not Maltesers.

Still. It’s not like anyone’s complaining!

  1. fi-el posted this