Warnings, Myths, Writings and the Hobbit

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My weeks shopping.

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Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman is his new collection of short stories and poems. In this collection, Gaiman deftly leaps from the macabre to the whimsical, the gloriously weird to the dramatic. Having a love of myth and fantasy I found these stories a delight and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I can only say if you are a fan of Mr Gaiman’s, (like me) you won’t be disappointed. And if you have never read his work, give it a go. Go on!

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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandell, is thrilling, unique and deeply moving. A beautiful novel. I was pulled in on the first page, always a good sign. It starts when actor, Arthur Leander suffers a heart attack on stage during a Toronto production of King Lear and dies. In a matter of weeks a virus (the Georgia Flu) knocks out over 99% of the worlds population.Now, there are many dystopian novels out there, but this book is as much a mystery and not so much about apocalypse as about memory and loss, nostalgia and yearning. I recommend it!

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How Not to Write a Novel. I’ve been putting off buying this book for no reason what so ever, but I’ve gone for it and I officially say it’s very funny. Though when I read it, I think I might hold it slightly away from me in the hope I haven’t made the same mistakes that they point out. Some very good direction, it’s always great to have someone steer you clear of a disaster. A book to definitely dip into.

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The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. Yes I’ve already read it, but I lost my copy years ago, and this is the same cover I had. Beautiful. A must for any bookshelf. Look at it!

Dark, Urban, Supernatural Fantasy Urges.

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About seven years ago I embraced reading like  I was a woman obsessed. At the time, life was testing me. My career had changed direction, and I had a baby and a teenage son. I was single and at home…a lot.

The ‘catch up on the classics’ lightning bolt hit me. Why? I have no idea, just this deep urge to read the books that I had somehow avoided in my wild teenage days.

So Jane Austin’s library was devoured, Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White, Thomas Hardy, Far from the Maddening Crowd, Tess. Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, and so on. My favourite? Dorian Grey. Yes, horror, the supernatural.  I remembered,  as a child I wrote horror stories. A deep sense of grounding overcame me, I needed more. More!

One night, as I watched TV, baby in bed, teenage son in his room ( where he now resided full time and survived on food passed through a gap in the door ) a programme came on. True Blood. Memorised, I fell in love. I went straight to the bookshop the next day, bought all of Charlaine Harris, the Sookie Stackhouse, True Blood novels and ate them up. That led to ‘others’. I remember the staff in the bookshop avoided eye contact, a slight distaste on their lips when I bought more and more Dark fantasy. I got the feeling they wanted to put them in brown paper bags and slide them across the counter. But I didn’t care! Ha ha ha ha ha.

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Reading Dark and Urban Fantasy books did more than entertain me, I became happy. I rediscovered a subject I loved. It wasn’t the sex, vampires that lured me, ( only sometimes )  but the stories of the supernatural. The story telling. Folklore, forests, woods, witches and myths. Over time I knew I had to start writing again, I was thirteen when I last wrote like a mad thing, when my new english teacher told me I was rubbish! Don’t ever listen to Mr Sandercock, he’s not up to much!

Well, I’ve learnt something, that it doesn’t matter, it’s all debatable, always someone who isn’t going to like it. So who cares right? The only person that really cares is me and I love it!

It’s never too late to read, to have books in your life. You just have to find a foundation of genre you love. I now read Non-fiction , Science, Bestiaries. YA, anything that interests and inspires me.

But…I will always, deeply be in love with my dark side.

 

Fantasy, Carl Jung and the Heavens.

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The other day my friend began to tell me about Carl G Jung’s ‘The Red Book’. So I bought it. I am astounded at the pictures inside, and fascinated with the story behind it. Before I examine it further and write a blog on it, I just wanted to show you the pictures.

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I am making a list of all the books to be throughly studied and this one deserves a lot of my time. This book is very expensive, and even though Carl Jung wrote it between 1913 and 1916 it was not published until 2009. There are many different views  on his mental health while writing this book and painting these amazing paintings. Some say it holds infinite wisdom and some don’t! I shall read it and see.

This weeks reviews.

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The Love Book.

And we start this week with a beautiful book I actually bought for research, (yeah right) and it’s so much better than I thought it was. Full of the classics, new Poems, Love-letters. This is an exquisite collection of the very best writing on love from the greatest writers in the English language and also includes lesser-known marvels. I’m really glad I bought it.

 

Next.

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Dracula. 

Barnes and Noble publications of  Dracula. First published in 1897, Bram Stoker established the ground rules for virtually all vampire fiction written in its wake. I love vampire fiction. There I said it. I’m very fussy who writes it, and I don’t read as much as I did, but I do love me some J.R.Ward, and Laurrel K. Hamilton. I can’t help myself.

 

 

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Fairy Tales from Around The World. 

Andrew Lang’s Fairy Tales from Around The world. Now, I really did buy for research, and Andrew Lang is very well known for his books about Fairies. They are both gorgeous. I highly recommend these as a gift… to yourself.

       

 

 

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A Cabinet Of Curiosities. The Little Book of Awe & Wonder.  

This little number caught my eye last week. Be prepared to experience wonder and learning. A celebration of the inspiring, the informative, the weird and the wonderful,  A Cabinet of Curiosities is a delightful book. After my Uni assignment next week. I might actually get to read a novel again. Now…which one…

More books what I bought…

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Nobrow, Graphic Novel.

 The lovely book itself is a light-hearted and playful exploration of possible theories of the creation of the universe dreamt up by the contributors themselves. The quality of the paper and the binding is truly lovely. If you are a fan of illustration or even books in general, this is a lovely book to have in the library. You can see some examples of the content on the Nobrow website. I have yet to read this, so watch out for the review. It is amazing in the flesh!

“Faery Tales” by carol Ann Duffy

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A stunning gift edition. I bought this mainly for the cover

Faraway lands of wicked witches, evil monsters. Carol Ann Duffy’s stunning collection of fairy tales.

Once upon a time . . . I bought the same book twice!

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Penguins deluxe edition of Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights”.

The problem I have working in a book shop is I see all the new editions and new releases and have to own them. Yes, I already have “Wuthering heights”, but look at that cover!

I shall be back with more delights. I’m just piling them up, until I pounce and devour them all.

My recent purchases.

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Welcome to my Fantasy and Sci-Fi Book Cafe. Here I will be reviewing upcoming and present book releases and I will include many books that I just had to buy. Which is quite a lot. Here are the first four delights.

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The lovely Neil Gaiman has just released two re-imagined fairy tale books. The first is “The Sleeper and the Spindle”, the magical combination of Mr Gaiman with Chris Riddell’s wonderful Illustrations – enhanced with metallic ink: this is a spectacular and magical gift. It’s a real mix of the Sleeping Beauty- Snow White kind of tale.

The next is “Hansel and Gretel”, a visually stunning re-imagining of the classic fairy tale, beautifully illustrated by the award-winning Lorenzo Mattotti. Who better to retell the Brothers Grimm’s greatest, and perhaps darkest, fairy tale? Coupled with breathtakingly haunting illustrations, both books weave a more evocative, dark, captivating story, funny and clever. Gorgeous.

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I have to mention I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan and I can rely on any book he writes to deliver the goodies. These books do not disappoint me: I could almost just hold them and be happy. Actually I do, so I am quite happy.

Archangel’s shadows“, Nalini Singh.

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From the author of The Psy Changeling series, comes the latest novel in her Guild Hunter series. If you love dark Fantasy books like me then you must read these. I devour her stories, and I can see this one looking at me, waiting for me to read it. Going to be savoured.

The next “Saga” Volume four came into the shop today, and I had to buy it. A fantastic Graphic Novel from Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

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Brian Vaughan has had a fantastic career and has written for a number of publishers, Vertigo’s “Y: The Last Man” and also wrote for the TV series “Lost”. Fiona Staples is a wonderful, talented artist, I absolutely love her style, and together they have produced one of my favourite Graphic novels.

“Saga” is exceptionally dark and twisted and a dark sense of humour, but a comic that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s very funny but very ‘adult’, so beware! Enjoy.

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