Booking Through Thursday

This weeks BTT looked like a quick one:

"I’ve always wondered what other people do when they come across a word/phrase that they’ve never heard before. I mean, do they jot it down on paper so they can look it up later, or do they stop reading to look it up on the dictionary/google it or do they just continue reading and forget about the word?"


I do the following:

1) Figure it out from the text.

2) if I can't figure it out from the text, decide how far the computer/dictionary is from me

3) if the computer/dictionary is pretty close I'll google or look it up.

4) if the computer/dictionary is far I'll give up and keep reading. If I remember later about the word and happen to be near the computer/dictionary, I'll look it up, but this doesn't happen often because I'm forgetful.

Lazy. The end.

When I was a kid I'd just yell to my mom – "Mommm what does this word mean?" and then she would tell me to go look it up. Which was annoying. But I have to look things up a lot less now than then.

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Out of print

Remember when I was all gung-ho about trying to do BTT every week? Well that stopped quickly. Anyway, last weeks Booking Through Thursday question was a good one:

This week’s question is suggested by Island Editions:

Do you have a favourite book, now out of print, that you would like to see become available again? (I have several…)

There are a few books out of print that I own, so in a way I'm content even though they are out of print because I can go over and pet them and hug them and laugh to myself that they are mine as much as I want. On the other hand, I wish more people knew about and owned them so it would be nice if they were still in print. Also there are some books that are out of print that are so expensive I don't own them and I'm not sure I ever will. I'm not sure these are favorites, but they do make me yearn/burn for them to be reprinted. So two sections:

1) Out of print, but still available used at prices normal non-crazies can afford:

The Adventures of Holly Hobbie – A novel, by Richard Dubelman  (about $10?)- ok. I don't know if this book is any good anymore, but I read this when I was 12 or so and it's about that Holly Hobbie girl with the big bonnet around her face who is on a lot of kids toys and illustrations. In this book a girl - Liz, whose parents are archeologists, meets Holly through some time stepping magic type thing, and they go find Liz's missing dad. It involves Mayan pyramids and I remember it being fascinated by the descriptions of that ancient civilization and its beliefs. I vaguely recall some magic involving either light or an eclipse which I thought was very cool at the time. I went to the whatwasthatbook community on LJ to figure out what this book was.

Greensleeves by Eloise Jarvis McGraw (I got it for about $15-$20? but it sells for around $30 on up, eck) – I thought I posted about this book but looks like not. Sherwood Smith, author of Inda and Crown and Court Duel has recommended it on livejournal ( and describes it very well, I suggest clicking on that link for a better description than I can give. This was growing pains type of book. You see the silliness of youth and moving away from that and becoming more comfortable in your own skin. It's basically a well written young adult novel. Shannon is the main character – a girl who isn't sure if she wants to go to college instead spends the summer helping her uncle with a case with a will. She spends all summer pretending to be someone she isn't, playing detective, and trying to glean information about the people specified in the will, and along the way she comes out of her shell and also learns a thing or two about relationships.

Nameless Magery and Of Swords and Spells by Delia Marshall Turner (about $3 each?)- I bought one of these in college and didn't get the second book till a year or two ago. They can be read in either order but Nameless Magery goes first. Both are in the same universe and involves a futuristic, sci fi world/s where people can also do magic. There are robots and a mage school and smart young women protagonists and hyperspace drives and all kinds of meshing of sci-fi and fantasy and trickery. I don't think I've read anything else like it that blends those two genres so well together. And I think they're the only two books this author has written.

The Merro Tree by Katie Waitman (about $3-$5)- This is an author who has 2 books (I own both), and every year or so I will go and check if she's written anything else. And then I'll cry to myself because the answer is no. I also do this with Delia Marshall Turner but I think she's definitely not writing anymore, I feel more open ended with Katie Waitman. This book is a sci fi-ish story centering around the life of an abused boy (Mikk) who becomes the galaxy's master performance artist. In some ways it feels like a fantasy novel even though it's more sci fi. The description of the alien species, the performing arts school, Mikk's life, growing up, dealing with censorship and the stigma of his lovelife.. it's all great. The book says "discovery of the year" across it, but then.. no more books by her! I sob to myself.

The Night World Series by L.J. Smith (about $1-$10 each? Depends on how well you do on ebay) - ok this is a silly teen series with vampires and true love and whatnot. But I bonded with people who are now my closest friends over these books so I'm adding them here for nostalgia's sake. If I read over these books now, they're not bad but they aren't fabulous. I had to have them all (and maybe extra copies of certain ones) just because. And is book 10, Strange Fate, the last of this series ever going to be printed? I don't know.

2) Out of print and super expensive, maybe I can win the lottery or sell my car/left leg/kidney/soul to afford:

Anima Mundi by Mark Ryden ($300-$1000+)- An art book that has popular low brow art for those who have no idea who the hell Mark Ryden is. Lots of pictures of cute kids, animals, and meat products reminiscent of a child's picturebook. Really detailed work and often on album covers. This was on my wishlist when it was $25 on Amazon. Then three months later it went out of print and went up to $300+ dollars. After that if I saw a pamplet by this artist that I wanted, I got it without waiting around. I have his Bunnies and Bees book that I bought for $20? $25 when it came out which is now going for $90-$150 or so. Josh and my sister have a copy too. My attitude - "ok I know this is going to go up.." - *buy*. I also have Blood (one copy sealed, one unsealed) which I got for $25 each and which is selling for over $100 and it's this TINY thing really. Maybe these prices are less on ebay… Maybe not. OK I think telling Josh this is making him want to sell his Bunnies and Bees book.

Wagner's Trilogy – Tannhauser, Parsifal and Lohengrin by Willy Pogany (from $300 to $2000+ each depending on edition and condition). Pogany was a prolific illustrator in the early part of the last century, mostly of children's books. Some of his best work is in this set of three books. I found illustrations of Lohengrin online several years ago and since then I've been looking for copies that aren't expensive. All I can find for "cheap" aren't first editions, and even those go for $200-$300. I have Tannhauser (reprint), but not the other two. Like this on ebay. I don't remember how much I paid, but it was not over $150 and that was a few years ago. Every book in the trilogy have lovely pages bordered with illustrations and pictures, both black and white and in color and the boards for these books are often gilted and pretty. I once saw pictures of the whole set for sale online bound in white leather going for about the price of a car.. $10,000.. I coveted. I saved the pictures for that sale on my computer but they got lost in hard drive crashes. Oh well. Here's an image heavy link to many gorgeous Pogany illustrations. P.S. I also like his version of Alice in Wonderland.

Masques by Patricia Briggs – This book goes for at least $60 on ebay, $120 to over $600 elsewhere. Which I think is CRAZY. I find that Briggs's earlier work isn't as good as her recent books, but yes there is the compulsion to own everything by an author you like. Masques was her first published book I think. Right now, she's very popular because her Mercy Thompson series is one of the best urban fantasy series out there (in my opinion). Sigh. $60 is too much for an old used paperback book that may not be that good.

Mushroom Girls Virus by Deanne Cheuk – Another art book. This one came out in 2005. I saw this, loved it at first sight and bought it from the author. I'm glad I did, now it's out of print and selling for at least $150. Sheesh. I bought it for $45. Mine's not "mint" because I actually wanted to look at it, but I keep it in a plastic wrap because its got a lovely embroidered cover and I don't want anything to mess it up. I hope it gets reprinted, its lovely and girly and pretty. Click here for illustrations in the book. Also here.

There's more but I'm tired..

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BTT: Sunshine and roses

This weeks Booking through Thursday:

"The reverse of last weeks question:

Imagine that everything is going just swimmingly. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and all’s right with the world. You’re practically bouncing from health and have money in your pocket. The kids are playing and laughing, the puppy is chewing in the cutest possible manner on an officially-sanctioned chew toy, and in between moments of laughter for pure joy, you pick up a book to read . . .

What is it?"


This is actually harder to answer than last weeks BTT. I think the answer is pretty much anything. If I'm in a good mood, I have more patience to read books that are slower paced, aren't instantly gratifying, more non-fiction, heavier and not just for fun books. If I was in a good mood I'd probably also be able to concentrate to read more so I'd be able to get in the heavy reading in with the light. I'd probably be more in the mood to read books that have been on my TBR for a while and I just haven't felt like getting to.

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BTT: Comfort Food

This weeks Booking Through Thursday:

"Okay . . . picture this (really) worst-case scenario: It’s cold and raining, your boyfriend/girlfriend has just dumped you, you’ve just been fired, the pile of unpaid bills is sky-high, your beloved pet has recently died, and you think you’re coming down with a cold. All you want to do (other than hiding under the covers) is to curl up with a good book, something warm and comforting that will make you feel better.

What do you read?

(Any bets on how quickly somebody says the Bible or some other religious text? A good choice, to be sure, but to be honest, I was thinking more along the lines of fiction…. Unless I laid it on a little strong in the string of catastrophes? Maybe I should have just stuck to catching a cold on a rainy day….)"


It's pretty hard to say what I'd read until the scenario happens. But I'm pretty sure that the trend is A Book I Know Has a Happy Ending to cheer me up. I will gravitate to books with really good reviews that am pretty sure can take me away from feeling crappy. So this year Driven by Eve Kenin and Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie were books I got because I was feeling down, and they did their job. It helps if the book is really well written too, like Tanith Lee's Silver Metal Lover – I think I read that 3 times during bad patches. And VERY inexplicably, and embarrassingly, I have read Simon R. Green's Blood and Honor like 8 times over the years when I'm feeling just blue for no reason. It's a comfort read and pretty… I hang my head here…sword-buckling fantasy something something..  I don't know why I keep reading it! The spine is getting damaged and if you know me, I'm REALLY REALLY picky about how I hold my books, but I've owned this one since I was 15.

I also just read whatever is available sometimes. After a break up I was reading some Sydney Sheldon novel, don't remember what it was about anymore. I've had a bad month and right now I'm reading Scent of Shadows by Vicki Pettersson. I do not recommend it if you are feeling down. You will need breaks from the emotional turmoil, but I keep reading anyway.

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BTT – Goldilocks

This weeks Booking Through Thursday question:

"Are you a Goldilocks kind of reader?

Do you need the light just right, the background noise just so loud but not too loud, the chair just right, the distractions at a minimum?

Or can you open a book at any time and dip right in, whether it’s for twenty seconds, while waiting for the kettle to boil, or indefinitely, like while waiting interminably at the hospital–as long as the book is open in front of your nose, you’re happy to read?"

Hmmm.. I need some light. I don't like the room to be dark, and if its too sunny, it hurts my eyes and I need sunglasses to read (I have light sensitivity). 

It's hard to read with the TV on, but I can do it. Radio is much easier to ignore.

I don't mind interruptions and putting the book down, but if its certain people like my mom who interrupt me and then a minute after I pick up the book again interrupts again, and then does this a dozen times, I get a little miffed.

I don't care what chair I'm sitting in or how comfortable it is.

I can probably read most places. I carpool, and I read in the car this morning on the way to work and the light changed across my page with trees blocking and unblocking the sun, and we had the radio on, and the car was obviously moving, but I still read about a hundred pages. I've just always been a person who can concentrate and block out everything else. Sometimes I won't even hear people trying to interrupt me. This actually makes certain people annoyed - they think I'm deliberately ignoring them. I really don't hear them. The same thing happens if I'm watching something on TV that I'm really focused on. Or when I'm thinking intently about something.

I'm pretty much an anti-Goldilocks reader.

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BTT – Statistics

OK, I'm going to start doing this meme each week. Booking Through Thursday posts a book related question and bloggers reply on their blogs and link the answer.


"There was a widely bruited-about statistic reported last week, stating that 1 in 4 Americans did not read a single book last year. Clearly, we don’t fall into that category, but . . . how many of our friends do? Do you have friends/family who read as much as you do? Or are you the only person you know who has a serious reading habit?"


I think that all of the people in my circle of friends have read at LEAST one book last year. Probably more. The one person I know who doesn't read at all is a work friend who I know watches a lot of TV instead. Family: my parents read, and I read, but my brother who used to read a lot hasn't been reading (he asked me for recommendations recently so I think I can pull him back over to the dark side), and my sister doesn't like reading either, but even she likes books - art books.

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