Branderson won a Hugo!

Caution: O.C. Fangirl Blogging

What do you do when your favorite author wins a Hugo? *squee!* *blog!*

Congrats, Brandon! Indeed, “The Emperor’s Soul” is worth it.

✻• ✻• ✻• ✻• ✻• ✻• ✻

Meanwhile, in the Hall of Justice on the Orion Publishing Group website

Dude, why are the UK edition covers so pretty? It’s a good thing I don’t have physical copies of these yet because my collection would have been messed up.

“Steelheart” is out this month! [Read the excerpt from Chapter 1]

Other Stories: Despite the fangirling, somehow, it still comes around to books.

this is how i roll AVATARI’ve toyed with the idea of putting up another blog where I could write about non-book-related things and occasional personal stuff, but then I remembered that I put up a disclaimer that there will be non-book stuff in this blog because it’s The Girl Who Read and Other Stories after all, and stories are everywhere, not just in books. Besides, it’s just a pain to maintain too many blogs.

So, lest I protest too much, I will just go ahead and write, and…yeah, I’ll probably do this every weekend.


Caution: Fangirl Blogging.

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“The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller

SongofAchillesTitle: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Read Date: 5 November 2012
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

Built on the groundwork of the Iliad, Madeline Miller’s page-turning, profoundly moving, and blisteringly paced retelling of the epic Trojan War marks the launch of a dazzling career.

Caution: Today, I am prepared to sacrifice virgins on the altar of literature. So beware, Song of Achilles Virgins and Iliad Virgins! This could get spoilery.
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J.K. Rowling’s first non-Potter novel!!!! For adults!!!!

This news deserves extra exclamation marks! J.K. Rowling is finally going to publish her first non-Harry Potter novel, and it’s for adults, to boot.

*let’s bring out our clapper for the second time today*

Little, Brown Book Group and Little, Brown and Company are delighted to announce that they will publish J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults worldwide in the English language, both in print and ebooks.

David Shelley, Publisher, Little, Brown Book Group, will be J.K. Rowling’s editor and will be responsible for publication in the United Kingdom with Michael Pietsch, Executive Vice President of Little, Brown and Company, responsible for publication in the United States. The book will be published by Hachette in Australia and in New Zealand and by Hachette’s companies and normal appointed agents for the English language in other markets.

The title, the date for the worldwide publication and further details about the novel will be announced later in the year.

In the press release (full text here: click!), she said that it’s only fitting that she work with another publisher for this new phase of her career. I think it’s a good move, especially if we’re talking about the huge sales that will be generated by just her name on the cover alone. Harry Potter has made millions for Bloomsbury, Scholastic, and her other international publishers, and it’s nice to know that JKR is spreading the love around by giving this book to Little, Brown.

Of course, LB already has The Twilight Saga as the big moneymaker on its roster, so… good job, LB, good job. 😉

I’ve worried for so long about how she can’t seem to tear herself away from Potter after repeatedly saying that Deathly Hallows will be the last of it. We got The Tales of Beedle the Bard, her producing credits for the last 2 Potter films, and Pottermore. Not that I’m complaining, but I love JKR’s writing, and I don’t want her to go down in history as a one-trick pony, so this new book is welcome news.

I wonder what kind of story JKR has seen fit to throw at her adult fans. I hope it’s not a fantasy novel. Or if it is, I hope that the fantasy part is more subdued. If it turns out to have even half the kind of wit and detailed plotting of the Potter books, though, I can breathe a sigh of relief.

But oh, the critics and fans alike who will most likely look at this novel under their version of an electron microscope! Oh, the pressure to come out with something brilliant!

No matter what, this Rowling fan is still going to buy it and read it. *excited*

Edited to add: Lisa reminded me of that old speculation that JKR’s next non-Potter book will be a mystery, but it was from an unconfirmed source. Well, JKR can probably write a great mystery, something like an Agatha Christie meets Katherine Neville. Or maybe a Steve Berry-esque historical adventure with a dash of fantasy? Hrmmm…

And so begins The Great Next Novel Speculation.

What do you think it’ll be, folks?

Edit #2: JKR just tweeted!


Snapshots: These books have British accents

Caution: O.C. Fangirl Blogging

When I started collecting Brandon Sanderson’s books, the very first one I bought was the UK mass market edition of Mistborn: The Final Empire. Although the US covers look and feel more like classic fantasy, the UK covers have a certain minimalist appeal. I tend to be OC about editions, so I hounded the stores until I got the entire Mistborn trilogy in matching editions.

I made sure to get the UK editions for his subsequent epic fantasies, although I gave up on getting them all in mass market format because Gollancz’s mass market The Way of Kings was split into 2 volumes. And when The Alloy of Law came out, the local store stocked only the regular paperback.

The UK edition of Warbreaker very recently appeared in another local store, so I got a copy even though I already read the e-book, so that I can complete my collection. I also want to read Warbreaker again to stick tabs on the pages with my favorite passages, and to just generally enjoy all of Lightsong’s witty dialogue. And I couldn’t resist the lilac-colored font. 😛

(O.C. comment: Warbreaker’s title doesn’t have curliques on the spine. It bothers me.)

As you can see, my copy of Elantris is still a mass market US; it looks so out-of-place in that group. Keep an eye out for the UK edition in stores for me, will you, Pinoy friends? 😀

So why do I like collecting the UK editions aside from the endless amusement I get when I imagine hearing the narrator speak in a British accent inside my head? If you don’t have the moolah to get a hardbound copy, then the UK mass markets are a good value for your money. They normally cost just as much as the US mass market, but the UK MMPs, particularly the Gollancz ones, have better paper and print quality. The British eds are also a little bigger (Elantris and Mistborn in the photo above are both classified as MMPs), so the font size is more comfortable for the eyes.

As for Sanderson’s other books, I’m still missing volumes 3 and 4 of his Alcatraz series for young adults. I got the 1st volume at the Scholastic Warehouse Sale, and the 2nd just randomly appeared in another store. I saw volume 3 somewhere else, but it’s a hardbound copy, and I’m hesitant to get it.

And although I’m 25 pages into the 1st volume of The Wheel of Time, um…that’s not on the table today, ‘kay? ‘Kay. 😛

Next mission: Procure a copy of the Mistborn Adventure Game.

Shout-outs! — Thanks to Aaron for the heads-up on Warbreaker, and to Leia for calling the store to reserve a copy for me. 😀

Miscellany #01: 24 November 2011

Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011)
Anne McCaffrey, a legend in the SF/F community, passed away yesterday. As someone who loves fantasy, I understand what her loss means to the genre and to the people who were inspired and influenced by her works. I must, however, take this as a cue to confess that I have not read any of her books. I know, I know. Feel free to send out your fiercest dragons to hunt me down for this blasphemy (Warning: I wear a Ring of Dragonfire Protection). Or if you don’t have any dragons to send out, maybe you can hit the comments section and send me suggestions for which of her books I should read first instead. ;p

“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” clothing line to be launched
I still haven’t managed to get past the first chapter of the book, but I’m excited to see the movie starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig. Trish Summerville, the costume designer for the film, is going to launch a men’s clothing line inspired by Mikael Blomkvist’s outfits in the movie, and a women’s clothing line inspired by Lisbeth Salander’s. This warms my little movie geek’s (and my little closet fashion fan’s) heart.

Speaking of fashion, I love Rooney Mara’s dress on the cover of Vogue. 😀

10 Themes Shared by Science Fiction and Historical Fiction
It explains a lot. 😉 [Link to article]

Also, Keith Thompson is ♥, and here’s proof:

Ronreads Interview: Junot Diaz
My friend Ron was very lucky to have interviewed Pulitzer prize winner Junot Diaz during the Manila International Literary Festival. He seems like such a fun guy to talk to (color me envious, Ron!), and I love that he’s taken the time to get to know the Philippines and the Filipinos. [Link to interview transcript]

Open Call for Submissions: “Horror: Fantastic Filipino Fiction for Young Adults”
Hit the link if you’re interested to submit something. [Link]

A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon this fun Twitter meme, #bumperstickersforwriters. Here are some of the funnier entries:
– “Support our tropes.” @3rdplacepress
– “I’m not lost; I’m procrastinating.” @katelhunter
– “I just killed someone.” @LisaDMartinez
– “Cut me off and I’ll break your fourth wall.” @IrisBlasi
– “It’s not cheating if he’s only an imaginary lover.” @EbonyMcKenna. I suppose this counts for the #bumperstickersforbookworms meme too, if ever one gets started. :p

Notable Children’s Books of 2011
The New York Times released their Notable Children’s Books of 2011 list a few days ago. Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races and Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone are on it! This makes me happy.

Other Stories:

Salvador Dali + Walt Disney = Destino
I just had to post this link because the short film that Dali and Disney collaborated on is made of pure awesomeness. You can spare 6+ minutes of your time to see it, right? 😉

Star Trek sequel: 17 May 2013
My Star Trek men in IMAX 3D. World, please don’t end in 2012. That is all. [Link to report + JJ Abrams is seriously considering casting Benicio del Toro]

I hate season breaks
The Vampire Diaries is on season break, so I’ve had to resort to re-watching the first 8 episodes of season 3 and some from the tail-end of season 2 (Klaus walks into a bar and confronts Damon and Alaric…) Sometimes news breaks the monotony: lo and behold, Ausiello comes through with a spoiler!

For the record, though, I see all the other characters as “somewhat less evil” than Klaus even if he is actually more complicated than just plain “evil.” So that description from the spoiler doesn’t really tell us much about Finn. The flashback occurring in the 1400’s, though, makes for more interesting Originals Speculation Fodder and also begs the question: is there a curse on the Petrova doppelgangers that has something to do with brothers falling all over or fighting over them? ;p I wonder if the writers will spin an Elijah vs. Finn angle on this one.

Enough rambling. It’s time to post a gratuitous photo of Klaus. Just because.

Please note that the caption should be read with Klaus' American accent from S03E01. :p | Image Source: The TVD Facebook App

Now, I’m gonna go open my media player and listen to some Coldplay while I work. 😉

Time-out for TV: Exercising the Constitutional Right to ‘Thon

True Blood Season 4 Episode 1:  Look who became the King of Louisiana!  Haha! I knew it!  I called it just days after the season 3 finale.  But what the hell was that Faerie thing about?!

Leave them to exercise their constitutional right to behave like idiots.  -Pam

True Blood Season 4 Episode 2:  Aunt Petunia as Marnie Stonebrook is just surreal (in a good way).  But although the story is now very far from Dead To The World, the new twists are rather interesting.  No matter where Alan Ball decides to take this, I’m just happy they still pursued Amnesia!Eric.  I can’t wait to see the next episode!  Will ASkars be sporting the infamous red underwear?  I’m definitely staying tuned. 😛

Who would you rather trust: a vampire or a politician? -Eric

In other news:  I shouldn’t have started the Game of Thrones pilot at 1:30 in the morning.  The urge to continue watching the rest of the episodes was almost overwhelming.  Now I can feel a migraine coming on.

Sunday, Unproductive Sunday

1. Watched the Azkals game while “trying” to write. Of course, that didn’t work out.

My pen and notebook were mocking me the entire time. They were also covering their imaginary ears because I kept screaming or hurling expletives at the TV.

2. Tried to write after the game, but “Sherlock Holmes” was on a few minutes later. My pen and notebook were laughing hysterically. “Elementary, my dear Notebook, she is NEVER gonna get any writing done tonight!”

(I must say, that was a perfect Robert Downey Jr. imitation.)

(No, wait, it was more Benedict Cumberbatch.)

3. “The Losers” was on after “Sherlock”. I had a lot of fun watching Chris Evans, and my pen and notebook had a lot of fun calling me names (you know, like “Loser!”).

4. “Egypt Underworld” was on after that on Nat Geo. My pen and notebook were having a discussion about whether Osiris would let me pass through, considering I lied every time I said “I’m going to write today.” Apparently, even The Feather of Truth would likely be laughing at my expense; Pen and Notebook were quite convinced.

So I just went to sleep after that.

(On hindsight: aren’t Sundays really meant to be unproductive? It is Rest Day, after all.)

(Pen and Notebook: *laughing hysterically* “You really are a Loser!” )