Friday, June 29, 2012

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!



That's right, folks! Dear ol' Shelver is going on vacaaaaaaation!

For one glorious week, I'm leaving behind work, schedules, alarm clocks, and (hopefully) nasty weather to chill by a hotel pool and sleep in as late as I want. Glory of glories!

And at the very end of that week, what will I do to cap it all off?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #6

Totally the property of Pen to Paper.
My to-read count is currently riding at 213. I know I update the count for you all every week. Does that bore you? Tell me if it does. I personally am impressed and really overwhelmed. Even at my current pace of 1-2 books a week, it would take me a little over TWO YEARS to read them all, and that's only if I don't add a single book to the list over those four years.Who was the guy who was doomed to push the boulder up the hill for all eternity? Sisyphus? I feel like that guy, only my name isn't so unintentionally funny.

But that's okay. I may not get to all the books I want to read, but I do plan to (eventually) get my hands on some of the very best. The book I chose this week has been garnering some great buzz (I first heard about it during pre-BEA chatter on Twitter), so I think it has a chance to rank in that "very best."

Monday, June 25, 2012

How NOT To Get A Job At A Bookstore

Ah, summer. A time for lounging by the pool, building sand castles at the beach, vacations, and tearing through your special summer to-read list. At my store, the signs are popping up. Sometimes they're literal signs, like the ones that read "GREAT BEACH READS!" over certain shelves of book or other ones that list great new paperback deals (so you can stuff your beach bag). Other times they're subtler signs like kids shuffling in to buy books required for summer reading or the plethora of flip-flops smacking their way up and down our aisles.

But there was one sign, on very clear sign, that had every single employee looking up and saying, "Oh, yup. Summer."

I went in one Monday last month and started my day as usual, but it turned into one long shift of deja vu. Literally every hour or so, a person of certain age would shuffle up to my register and mumble, "You guys hiring?"

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
The Book Thief has been touted as a classic. You all know how I feel about classics. (Hint: Not a fan.) But so many people have raved about it, and it's on my Summer Reads list, so I figured I was morally obligated to read it, in a way.

I'm not sure I can review this book in the normal fashion. I mean, it's not really a normal book. There isn't much in the way of romance, nor much in the way of heart-pounding action. The narration hops around in time and doesn't do twists very well. I mean, there are twists, but we're told what they are and when they're coming ahead of time.

So this isn't going to be a normal review, but here's what I can say. It may not be a normal book, but The Book Thief is one of the most gorgeous books I've ever read.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cover Love #5


Time for Cover Love! I know some people aren't very fond of memes. I understand completely. At the same time, I genuinely look forward to writing my Cover Love posts. I get to look at pretty things and squeal over them with you all.

This week's choice will be just a tad different. Usually, I choose a book that is jaw-droppingly beautiful. Usually, it's also attached to a book that is on my to-read list, either because of the cover or just because of the book's sheer awesomeness. This week's choice is not jaw-droppingly beautiful, but it did make me drop my jaw. It's also not on my to-read list (at least, not yet), but I know that it's on others'.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

PART TWO Of My Absolutely "Wizard" Interview With Elizabeth Wein, Author of CODE NAME VERITY

Two weeks ago, I ragged on my store's crappy summer reading shelf. One week ago, we all banded together and constructed a much better shelf that I am extremely proud of (and yes, you can still go and suggest books). On that list were several new titles that I happened to adore, and one of those titles was Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

Yesterday, I posted PART ONE of my interview with Ms. Wein. This is part two. It's the juiciest part, in my opinion.

S: Tell me about the different names you chose. Verity, of course, is pretty straightforward, especially by the end. Do the other names - Maddie, Isolde, Peter - mean anything, or did you pick them just because they seemed to fit?

EW: Well, all the Special Duties pilot code names are from Peter Pan, so Peter is an obvious one - like Maddie's call-sign being Wendy for her flight to France. But I used names from Peter Pan on purpose because it was a theme throughout the book. I really love choosing names. Isolde's name was obvious because I already had quoted the aria from Tristan und Isolde before I knew what her name was. The fabulous contrast of "Isolde still in the day and the sun" with Queenie trapped in "Night and Fog" was a FANTASTIC COINCIDENCE.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

An Absolutely "Wizard" Interview With Elizabeth Wein, Author of CODE NAME VERITY

Two weeks ago, I ragged on my store's crappy summer reading shelf. One week ago, we all banded together and constructed a much better shelf that I am extremely proud of (and yes, you can still go and suggest books). On that list were several new titles that I happened to adore, and one of those titles was Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

Ms. Wein agreed to answer some questions about her magnificent book for me. Fangirl squealing (on my part) and insightful anecdotes (on hers) ensued.

Shelver: You've talked before about how your own love of flying and airplanes impacted your story. How did you first get into flying?

Elizabeth Wein: My husband-to-be (who I met because we are both bellringers) turned out to have just got his private pilot's license when I started going out with him. Initially I went along as a passenger and a sort of standby amateur navigator. It was an extraordinarily romantic way to date. About 6 months after we started going out (and you have to understand that we saw each other once a month - he lived in the UK and I lived in Pennsylvania), we went on a trip to Kenya to visit a mutual friend. He did a sort of quick conversion to a Kenyan pilot's license and we rented a plane and flew across Kenya.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Review: MONUMENT 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. 

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.
After showcasing this book in my Wishlist Wednesday post, I knew I had to get my hands on it as soon as it hit my store. Unfortunately, by the time I did get Monument 14, I'd just finished This Is Not A Test (see my review here), and was a little wary of picking up another apocalyptic book.

Oh, and for the record, I am such an idiot. One of the things I just HAD TO KNOW, was what Monument 14 actually was. Some sort of monolith? A piece of jettisoned alien technology that kickstarted the apocalypse? A super-secret government base? ... Uh, actually, the fourteen kids from the town of Monument. D'oh. I'm not usually so thick, I promise.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Guest Post by E.K. Henry: Why I Went Indie

Hi, friends. Today we're going to have a guest poster. Her name is E.K. Henry, and she's the author of an indie publication, a vampire story titled Freak. I've never read this book, nor, I admit, do I ever plan to. I'm not a fan of vampire books. However, as a bookshelver, I know that my tastes aren't everyone's, and I figured some of you would enjoy hearing what she has to say. Also, it's incredibly hard for an indie author to get attention sometimes, and I've got all this space just waiting to be shared. So let's make her feel welcome, shall we?

E.K. Henry

I want to thank Bookshelvers Anonymous for having me on the blog today.  I am very honored at the chance to be here.

My name is E.K. Henry.  I’m the author of Freak.  I have always had a passion for books ever since I can remember.  I have grown up spending countless nights being swept away by my favorite books into the wee hours of the night.

Today, I want to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart. I want to discuss why I decided to become an Indie author.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #5

Totally the property of Pen to Paper.
One hundred and sixty-nine. I have one hundred and sixty-nine books on my to-read list. The overabundance of choices available for my wishlist makes my head spin.

BUT this week there was no contest. One book jumped off my list and smacked me in the face while flaunting its awesomeness with a sassiness that would put Tyra Banks to shame.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Reads - OUR List

Last week, I whined about my store's "Summer Reads" shelves, specifically the shelves reserved for the YA reads. Corporate's choices were crappy at best. They picked some depressing reads and then added a bunch of school books. You know I love Jane Austen, but is that really what kids want to read on their summer break? Especially if the book looks like the cover to the left?

I think not.

So I made my own list, but I also solicited some suggestions from you all.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Review: THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?
I've wanted to read this book for nigh on forever. Well, since May 10, when I gushed about the cover for my second Cover Love post, anyways. I don't consider myself a zombie person simply because of my limited experience with the genre. I know the fake zombies on Scooby-Doo, the freakishly fast zombie-like things from I Am Legend... and that's about it. I was excited to broaden my horizons a bit.

Even more exciting was the news that this wasn't really a zombie book. Instead, supposedly, it's a book about a girl named Sloane that just happens to have zombies. Great! What an awesome way to ease myself into the genre, right?

Ooooor maybe not.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cover Love #4


Guess what time it is, guys? Cover Love time!

For you newbies, this is the time of week where I set aside special time to gush over a cover that I just absolutely adore. It's also an interactive meme, so you can sign up to share your own Cover Love post on your blog or comment below, so we can all squeal over the designs together.

Breaking from my recent apocalyptic/dystopian trend, this week I've chosen a book that's slightly less intense. Slightly.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What's Your Idea Of A Great Summer Read?

For me, summer is the best time to book binge. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, click here.) THE best time. I mean, think about it. If you're in school, either high school or college, you've just hit your biggest breather all year. Sure, you might get a job, but now is the time that you get to read what you want, not what some teacher or professor says you must. And if you're adult, this is the seasons of summer vacations and weekends at the beach. PERFECT for diving into a book.

It seems like everyone has their idea of what a great summer read is. Usually it's light and fluffy, or, if it's a bit more complicated, at least it's not so complicated that you get a headache. For example, my attempt to read Dune for the first time while at the beach was a baaaad choice. A great summer read often involves swoontastic romance or exhilirating adventure. Other people seem to have it in their heads that, especially for kids, summer reads should be "educational," preferably classics.

I may not have a precise definition, but I know what it is NOT. You know what it's not? The crap my store is offering.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Review: INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows

NEWSOUL 
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.  
NOSOUL 
Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?  
HEART 
Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies--human and creature alike--let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?  
Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.
I picked up this book following the recommendation given by Ems on her blog. [Side note: She's cool and her blog is cool. Go follow.] I wasn't really sure how I'd like the book, given the whole reincarnation thing, but the whole mistreated-girl-finds-a-friend-and-learns-her-worth thing sounded interesting, so I picked up a copy.

I knew within the first couple chapters that this book was going to end up being another book binge. You know tunnel vision, where you suddenly feel like you're looking through a narrow tube and can only focus on what's right in front of you? I get tunnel reading sometimes, where I'm so busy following a story that when something from the outside world forces its way into my reading (like an impatient boss reminding me that my lunch break was technically over ages ago), I have to take a few minutes to reorient myself to my surroundings. I got that with this book.