In which the blogger buys books again

I decided to limit the amount of books I bought until the book swap I was taking part in was over. Well, now that I have recived my awesome package and my bookworm have recived hers there isn't a need of it anymore. And I got payed.

So, once again got a chunk of my money, I would have shopped locally but one of the books I wanted wasn't available at so I went elsewere for all of them.

These ended up in my basket:

Academ's Fury - Jim Butcher
Changeless - Gail Carriger
Hexed - Kevin Hearne

Moon Called - Patricia Briggs

Secondhand Spirits - Juliet Blackwell

So basically I am continuing with recently discovered series which  were good and also one new one which seems to be a lovely summer read, a murder mystery with ghosts and a small second hand store. Sounds adorable and my bookworm, to whome I sent this, squee'd over it appropriately. Now comes the less good part when ordering books online - the wait for them to appear in the mailbox! *stalks mailman* Of course this does gives me the time to finish The Anubis Gates...
  • Sooz
  • 12:15 PM

Furies of Calderon - Jim Butcher

Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, #1)Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's not a secret that I love Butcher's writing so of course I had to try this book. I actually bought it for my husband for his birthday but I ended up reading it first. My fear was that without the possibility to fall back on pop-culture references Butcher would loose quite a bit of the appeal but thankfully I was wrong. Butcher's writing is still action oriented and to the point but he continues to write captivating characters that carry the story.

I like the magic system (yes, I am repeating myself) and the fact that the main hero has no conventional magic powers at all makes it all the more interesting. Especially as everyone else does. Butcher has also kept his habit of making the real bad guys really bad but also keeping from lumping everyone into the same group. Just because one barbarian is a blood-thirsty monster that doesn't mean every barbarian is. Check your prejudices at the door.

The story is simple (a plot to overthrow the ruler meets with unexpected resistance and unlikely heroes), the action is abundant and the characters are wellformed and likable. All in all a great light read, maybe while the sun shines and there's something cold and delicious to drink nearby.

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  • Sooz
  • 1:47 PM

Eurocon Day Two and Three

I had no idea going to a con was this much fun! I should have guessed but damn was it great!

Yesterday me and Boktimmen-Fia met up with Feuerzeug and some other book bloggers and had some awesome geeky conversation in between the panels and even on the metro. The panels were also really good. I had one difficult choice on Saturday when Ian McDonald's GoH interview collided with a reading and Q&A with Cirkeln-Sara. I went with my gut feeling and went to see Sara and I do not regret it at all. She read the first chapter of Cirkeln and was so lovely I didn't feel afraid to ask questions at all. I found out that the Danish, Norwegian and German translations of the book will be released this year and the UK one sometime early 2012. I'll keep an eye out for more exact dates because there are several of my international friends that need to read the book! After the read there was a signing and I was first in line like a proper fangirl getting my already read copy signed. Also there was unexpected loot in that I got one of the much coveted Cirkeln-totes for myself.

Interestingly that was the only piece of loot from Saturday. My wallet was very relived. Another memorable panel was Hannu Rajaniemi and Charles Stross interviewing eachother, they were funny and had some interesting things to say about the future of Sci-fi. I am unashamedly delighted at Charles Stross way with language and he has that rather smug, dry humor I so like.

Today I did shop a few more things, a con t-shirt and a Swedish anthology of short stories. I wibbled over getting the t-shirt since it is white but I figure I can get some dye and remedy that. There were fewer panels and talks today but one of my favorites was the one about gender and the freedom that writing in the sci-fi, fantasy and horror gives the author when it comes to handling gender. It gave me the (maybe slightly mad) idea to write my Young Adult novel with a main character whose gender I won't divulge. It could be done but the question is if any publisher would want to touch it with a ten foot pole. I do hope so.

Finally, once again, this has been awesome and if nothing else I am infinitely thankful that my muse have returned to me. And I leave you with a few cute Steampunk ladies who I sneak photographed during the Steampunk Tea Mixer.
  • Sooz
  • 10:50 PM

Eurocon Day One

I just got home from my first day on my first convention and let me tell ya, it was awesome! There was a table of second hand books, a table of new books and lots and lots of geeky people talking about geeky subjects and being generally awesome. Add to that really really cheap alcohol and brilliant guests talking about interesting things and you can see why I found it so great.

And just look at this loot! Every book but the Elisabeth Bear one is second hand and all of them only set me back 155 for the second hand books and 85 for the new one. I also got the new one signed by Elisabeth who I was unintentionally stalking half the day, she is lovely to listen to, intelligent and funny with a very infectious laughter. And I basically need all her books. As soon as possible.

When I got my hastily bought book signed I even managed to talk to her without making a complete ass of myself but, as I wrote on twitter, I don't think I quite managed to keep the stars out of my eyes. I do believe she took it as a compliment though.

The other guests were also interesting and I think I enjoyed the "As you know, Bob"-panel best of the shared panels. It was about info dumping and how to do it well (in sexscenes, through non-fiction passages or having the character ask a convenient professor to explain it all). That panel had Elisabeth Bear, Ian McDonald, Charles Stross and Hannu Rajaneimi and the four of them played off eachother really well. I also really liked the "Lovecraft Today" panel because, tentacles!

It's nearing midnight now and I'm about to tip into bed but I am really looking forward to tomorrow!
  • Sooz
  • 11:55 PM

Sandry's Book - Tamora Pierce

Sandry's Book (Circle of Magic, #1)Sandry's Book by Tamora Pierce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a rather thin and lovely YA book. It takes a refreshing look at magic along with a more traditional one. The four youths are great with all their strengths and weaknesses, they feel human and they use their powers in really imaginative ways. The worldbuilding is also well done, no infodumps or the like, it just comes when it comes.

This is the kind of book I would have loved as a kid, it even has that boarding school element that I loved so much at that age.

One thing though, this book is named Sandry's book but there's not a lot of her in it, not much more than the other three at least. I hope the other books have the same mix else it feels really unfair to as lovely a character as Sandry.

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  • Sooz
  • 2:28 PM

I got gifted!

So I was woken up at just after 8 am but I really didn't mind since the lovely mail lady brought me a huge package of books, chocolate and extra goodies! It was my librarian from the book swap who really took her job seriously. And she must be some kind of psychic because none of the books were on my wishlist yet I find now they should have been!

So, you ask, what did I get? Well, look at that lovely pile of awesomeness!

What's not visible there is the two NASA patches that were also in there, I didn't open that package until after the picture was taken but needless to say they are made of awesome!

So, the books...

Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs
All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn't careful, she might not have many more to live...

This is actually book #5 about Mercedes Thompson but despite that I couldn't keep from starting with this one. I'm actally half done and I think I might have found a series to tide me over until the next Dresden File comes out. And yes, I will get the four first books as soon as possible. I mean, like I could resist coyote shapeshifters, werewolves, fae and vampires?

The Good Fairies of New York - Martin Miller
When a pair of fugitive Scottish thistle fairies end up transplanted to Manhattan by mistake, both the Big Apple and the Little People have a lot of adjusting to do.

Fairies! Punk Rock! New York! Add to that a blurb and introduction by Neil Gaiman and I was so sold. I am really looking forward to reading this.

Dies the fire - S.M Stirling
The Change occurred when an electrical storm centered over the island of Nantucket produced a blinding white flash that rendered all electronic devices and fuels inoperable. What follows is the most terrible global catastrophe in the history of the human race—-and a Dark Age more universal and complete than could possibly be imagined.

The end of the world is always fascinating and this one promises to deliver as well. I really like the cover on this one too!

And then there was three books from the same author, Charles de Lint. Union Girl, Promises to Keep and The Mystery of Grace.

All three seem very interesting, from what I can gather two are from the same 'verse but the third is separate. All three stories intrigue me and I am looking forward to getting to know a new prolific author.

Besides all these lovely books there was also something I didn't expect in this summery weather - chocolate! And it actually held up very well, it must have avoided the worst of the heat on the way. Among the flavors were bacon and sweet curry both of which I am very eager to taste.

And I've saved the best to last, you can see it in the background in the picture up there, it's a lunch + book canvas bag with a lovely quote on it. I've been looking at something similar since carrying plastic bags feels cheap and wasteful, and now I have something I won't see ten others with on the metro!

So, thank you dear Librarian, you've really made my day with your awesome package!
  • Sooz
  • 11:50 PM

Marvel 1602 - Neil Gaiman

Marvel 1602Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What happens if you take Marvel characters we all know add some Neil Gaiman and then toss it all to the 1600's instead of the modern age Well, judging from this graphic novel greatness! Every character is recognizable and enjoyable and the story complements them very nicely. It's even so that some character who seem a bit out of place in the modern world are now fitting in perfectly (Dr Doom is a shining example and in a way also Steven Strange).

The art is also flawless, the dramatics and the subtle changes suit the story and there are many frames I would love to have as prints on my wall.

This is a true can't-put-it-down-book, don't start reading it late at night when you should be sleeping. Just saying!

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  • Sooz
  • 8:58 PM

Iron Council - China Miéville

Iron Council (New Crobuzon, #3)Iron Council by China Miéville

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The final (so far) book in the Bas Lag series is New Weird goes Western and I don't mind one bit. In fact I would have loved more of that part and less of the parts happening in New Crobuzon. I half hope he writes another book about the Iron Council, just about the Iron Council.

Something I like is that Miéville have reigned in his abundant flow of imagination and streamlined it abit, maybe it's because I've gotten used to this world and don't even blink when he talks about living cactus and creatures with a womans body and a beetle for head. And due to this I can focus more on the story, which is rather good indeed. There's quite a few characters but it never gets too overwhelming and some of the stories are just heartbreaking.

A note though, you don't have to read the earlier books in the series to "get" this one but as I said it benefits if you are already familiar with the world and fantastic people who inhabit it.

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  • Sooz
  • 11:45 AM

Round and round

So I finally went and got Cirkeln (The Circle) today and I must say it is quite refreshing to read about a reality mixed with the fantastic to which I can still relate. The school in Engelsfors could just as well have been located in the city I grew up in. I superimpose my own school over the one in the story and I can smell the classrooms and see the furniture and such like it was real.

As someone who's grown up about as far away from an american high school or english boarding school as is possible it is kinda nice to have a sense of familiarity. Especially since I so rarely read YA books set in Sweden. They are usually rather void of the elements I want in a book, ie horror, magic or the supernatural in general. Do feel free to prove me wrong by providing links to books that do contain them though!

Right now I have ten glorious days off and I bet I will spend a chunk of that time on my lovely shaded balcony with a glass of something cold and a book in the hand, at least if the weather keeps. Oh and I will end the vacation by going to listen to one of the authors of Cirkeln, Sara Bergmark Elfgren, speak about writing at Eurocon!
  • Sooz
  • 11:07 PM

Hounded - Kevin Hearne

Hounded (Iron Druid Chronicles, #1)Hounded by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is yet another addition to my to-read list from John Scalzi's Big Idea segment on Whatever. As soon as I read "Defiant Drunk Nerd Syndrome", druids, shapeshifting and celtic mythology I knew I had to read this book. And I wasn't disappointed. This is a fun read, filled with laughter, bad-assery and a dog who sometimes wants to raise an army and take over the world. And he's not the bad guy.

One of the problems for an author of the fantastic is creating a believable magic system. It can't be giving the hero or his enemies too much power. And you can't really give to little either because then it just get kind of boring. Hearne manages to balance that quite nicely despite the enemies being mostly gods. He gives everyone a fair bit power but he gives them limitations as well so there is that oh so necessary balance. Sidenote, I think it's great that he takes the traditional witches covern and makes them a force to be reckoned with. Too often they get ridiculed and looked down upon.

All in all this is a very enjoyable and kinda fresh take on urban fantasy. I am looking forward too Hexed and Hammered and I hope those two are about what I think they are about.

Oh and read John Scalzi's blog. It's a treasure trove of good book suggestions. And bacon on cats.

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  • Sooz
  • 9:55 PM

Ask China Miéville

Over on goodreads they've started series of Q&A's with authors and next up is China Miéville. Now I know about this because apparently the goodreads people take a look at what books are on your shelves and if one of those authors are picked for a Q&A they send you a nice message informing you of that fact. Pretty awesome actually.

Now I'm trying to think of a good question to ask, the thread is open until June 17th so I do have some time fortunately.
  • Sooz
  • 8:52 AM

Soulless - Gail Carriger

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate, #1)Soulless by Gail Carriger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book on a list of steampunk novels worth reading (it was over at if you're curious) and after reading it I can say it most definitely belongs there.I really enjoyed getting to know Alexia Talbott and her supporting cast. The story take a new look at the link between the supernatural and the soul and it sets this in the still very strict and rule-bound Victorian era. That in itself would make the book an interesting read but what makes it rise above the rest is the charming language. It's funny and fitting and I giggled several times no matter where I was at the moment (one would think my co-commuters would be used to it by now)

I can't say the actual story wasn't easy to see through though, because it was, both the romance and the mystery part of it, but despite this it was enjoyable. Sometimes it's nice to read something that you've already guessed approximately how it's gonna end but is well-written enough that you wanna see how it gets there. This is that kind of book.

And why can't I have a brass,steam-enhanced parasol? With this sun and this heat I sure do need one. Oh, and a fantastically flaming vampire friend to visit and gossip with, need that too!

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  • Sooz
  • 9:49 PM

Holy long weekend, batman!

Six days without blogging? I should be ashamed, except how I'm not since I've once again been having a grand old time off in the real life. We've had a five day weekend over here in lovely Sweden and I've spent it laughing with friends, eating lots of tasty foods at a food festival (dumplings! samosas! strawberries! sushirolls!) and drinking rosé wine on my newly furnished balcony. And I finished a book or two as well.

I'm back at work now for about four days and then I have another one week vacation coming up, one that is ending with Eurocon and a visit from Boktimmen! I hope this nice weather keeps up, I'm already getting used to having breakfast outside.

Oh and isn't the blog looking great!? My lovely friend koryou made this layout for me and I adore it alot! (Of course I managed to fudge up a few things in the transfer of layouts but I'll have it sorted soon enough!)
  • Sooz
  • 8:31 AM

Book Blogger Meet (and meat)

I am yawning at work today but it was totally worth it. 14 (or was it 15) lovely intelligent women chatting away the hours while eating excellent Lebanese food and drinking various beverages makes for a brilliant evening. It felt like wherever I turned there was great conversations and they went from books and authors to cats through nail-polish and weddings.

All the books I'd brought got snatched up and I even brought one home, Paul Auster's The New York Trilogy. It's not really in the genres I usually cover here but I've heard lots of good things about it. And mysteries is the genre I most often stray towards when I leave the comfort of the fantastic. Especially well-written mysteries.

I failed at one thing last night though, I didn't get a single picture. But luckily others did, Bokbiten, Dark Places and Bokbabbel have posted some in their spaces and I'm sure other posts will appear eventually as well.

Finally I did some book shopping today, but I still didn't break my self-imposed ban since I shopped for the swap I'm in. I won't say what I got in case she finds her way here and figure me out but I will say that Book Depository have extended their 10% offer until Friday! And as always there's free shipping to a lot of countries, including Sweden.
  • Sooz
  • 11:40 AM