Under the Tree: Happy Chrismukkawanztice!

Book-Christmas-TreeHappy Chrismukkahwanztice Everyone! Regardless of your spiritual persuasion, Chrismukkahwanztice in the United States is essentially a celebration of capitalist excess. One in which gifts are de rigueur. Which really does make this the best time of year for us Book Pushing Book Lovers. Not only do we get lots of books – we get to force them on others! It doesn’t get any better than this!

In honor of this holiday – and assured that this post won’t go live until after the presents are already opened (no spoilers!) – Reading Reality Proudly Presents: Under Our Tree!


Grizzly MazeFor Mom: This last summer, my mother came to visit me up here in the Frozen North, and all she wanted to do was go rustle up some grizzlies. Ah, how about no? I am exceedingly opposed to being eaten. Tried directing her towards the Live Bear Cams (just as good without being eaten) to no avail. She wants to stalk the grizzlies.

The Grizzly Maze: Timothy Treadwell’s Fatal Obsession With Alaskan Bears by Nick Jans & Grizzly Man (documentary). Happy Holidays, Mom! You’re not allowed back in Alaska until you provide me with a full report of both the book and film (included because there is a recording of his death).

HogfatherFor Cass: Oh come on, you know perfectly well that friends and family have long since learned to adhere to ISBNs when buying books for us Book Hoarders, or just give gift cards. This year I have made a series of extremely special requests from my international contacts.

Small-Gods1The Terry Pratchett Discworld Collector’s Library! Look at those glorious covers. Not available in the United States. AS IF THAT WOULD STOP ME. Plus, I needed to upgrade to hardcover. I’ve read through three copies each of Hogfather, and Small Gods.

For Grandma & Grandpa: Anyone who has ever lived here in the tundra understands that though we have an overwhelming bounty of fresh fish, we have no decent fruit. At all. By the time it gets here, it’s already going bad. To cope with this disparity, my grandparents and I have come to an understanding. I send them boxes of fresh Alaskan salman, halibut, scallops, and crab, and in return, they send me boxes of fresh apples, peaches, and pears. It really is a beautiful system. Right up until  grandpa tells me that he breaded and fried fucking halibut cheeks as though they were goddamn fishsticks!

Alaska CookbookThe New Alaska Cookbook by Kim Severson. Okay, grandpa? You have no more excuses. If you’re just going to bread and fry everything, I’ll start sending dogfish.

For Dad: My dad and I share a love for political science fiction. I first introduced him to Robert J. Sawyer with a Father’s Day gift of the Neanderthal Parralax. Which he dearly loved. He’s an easy mark this year.

Calculating GodCalculating God by Robert J. Sawyer. Science Fiction for the politically minded atheist! I could have gone with something by Dawkins, but it turns out he’s a misogynist motherfucker. Not giving him any of my money. We’ll try some PZ Meyers or Skepchick swag for your birthday.

For Nicki: You are unhealthy invested in Twilight. It’s a sickness that I’ve done my damnedest to cure you of, but just keep falling short. I blame the cocaine in the library books.

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan. Enjoy! Perhaps fiction can reach you in ways the Power & Control Wheel could not.

persuasion-teeFor Becky: I know that Pride & Prejudice is your favorite book of all time, and no author could ever compare to Jane Austen. How about we take some Jane Austen and make it aesthetically pleasing since I can’t slog my way through any of it?

Persuasion by Jane Austin via Litographs. That’s right. Your book is on a shirt. How awesome is that?! Just don’t get mad at me if people start squinting at your boobs. And on that note, Susan is getting Alice in Wonderland, and Rachel needs The Great Gatsby…..


How about you? What books are under your tree?

On My Wishlist-Waiting on Wednesday-Desperately Wanting Wednesday-On the Weekend (7)

More than anything else, right this minute, I want more time. I desperately want (yes, I’m deliberately making the pun) another week between now and when my new job starts.

The hurrieder I go, the behindeder I get (my spell-checker just curled up and died on that sentence. And I don’t care. It sums things up all too well.)

Next week’s stacking the shelves is going to mammoth, if I’m home to do it. Or if we’re still on the road and I borrow Galen’s computer to use as the second screen. I’m addicted to having two. Awkward.

And it doesn’t matter how big the virtual shelf-stack gets, I still see new books that I want. Speaking of which, let’s take a look at one on my wishlist.

This one grabbed me when I saw the pre-pub alert at Library Journal. It turns out it’s only sort of pre-pub at this point–the book has already been released in the U.K., but it won’t be out in the U.S. until late January, 2013.

I love the sound of this. It’s both alternate history and yet another theory of “who wrote Shakespeare’s plays?” Count me in.

The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber

Formats available: Hardcover, ebook
Genre: historical fiction
Length: 464 papers
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date Released: January 29, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

You’re the author of the greatest plays of all time.
But nobody knows.
And if it gets out, you’re dead.

On May 30, 1593, a celebrated young playwright was killed in a tavern brawl in London. That, at least, was the official version. Now Christopher Marlowe reveals the truth: that his “death” was an elaborate ruse to avoid a conviction of heresy; that he was spirited across the English Channel to live on in lonely exile; that he continued to write plays and poetry, hiding behind the name of a colorless man from Stratford—one William Shakespeare.
With the grip of a thriller and the emotional force of a sonnet, this remarkable novel in verse gives voice to a man who was brilliant, passionate, and mercurial. A cobbler’s son who counted nobles among his friends, a spy in the Queen’s service, a fickle lover and a declared religious skeptic, Christopher Marlowe always courted trouble. Memoir, love letter, confession, and settling of accounts, The Marlowe Papers brings Christopher Marlowe and his era to vivid life.

On My Wishlist-Waiting on Wednesday-Desperately Wanting Wednesday-On the Weekend (6)

I can’t believe I’m wishing for anything remotely called “cold days”. But there’s one (and only one) context where that makes sense.

I miss Harry Dresden. I miss his line of snark. A lot. Having just finished Jim Butcher’s First Lord’s Fury not too long ago, I got teased by Tavi. He was sort of Harry-lite.

I want the real thing. Send me Cold Days. Appropriately scheduled for the end of November.

Harry never can catch a break. Unless it’s a bad one.

Formats available: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Dresden Files #14
Length: 528 pages
Publisher: Roc Books
Date Released: November 27, 2012
Purchasing Info:Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble


After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. Because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard.

He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill.

Guess which Mab wants first?

Of course, it won’t be an ordinary, everyday assassination. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. No problem there, right? And to make matters worse, there exists a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could land Harry in the sort of trouble that will make death look like a holiday.

Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…

His soul.

On My Wishlist-Waiting on Wednesday-Desperately Wanting Wednesday-On the Weekend (5)

I want my very own dust bunny.

Admittedly, my housekeeping skills are such that there are probably LOTS of them under the bed…but I don’t mean that kind of dust bunny.

I’m referring to the psychic kind. The occasionally predatory kind.

And if you’re a fan of Jayne Castle’s science fiction romance series, set on the planet Harmony, you know exactly what type of dust bunny I’m referring to.

The next (the ninth!) book in Castle’s Harmony series is coming out in September. If you’re as eager to read The Lost Night as I am, here’s the description from Goodreads to whet your appetite.

With the ability to detect the auras of dangerous psychic criminals, Rachel Bonner has found peace and quiet on Rainshadow Island with her dust bunny companion. Then Harry Sebastian, the descendant of a notorious pirate, arrives to investigate strange developments in the privately owned woods known as the Preserve. Rachel can sense the heart of darkness within him— and the stirrings of desire within her own soul…

September 4. After the Labor Day weekend for those of us in the States. Why are the good books coming out after the long weekend is over? Where’s the justice in that?

On My Wishlist-Waiting on Wednesday-Desperately Wanting Wednesday-On the Weekend (4)

I shouldn’t want anything. Really, truly.

I have lots. But if I didn’t love books, I wouldn’t be doing this, now would I?

You understand, don’t you? You’re a book addict too, aren’t you? (I think we’ve had this little talk before…)

Last July, I picked up a copy of the first book in Jean Johnson’s military science fiction series, Theirs Not To Reason Why. I love SF, and I have a particular fondness for military SF with female protagonists. If those kind of stories intrigue you, I highly recommend Tanya Huff’s Valor Confederation series and Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War series. (The Honor Harrington series by David Weber isn’t half bad, but I’ll debate with you whether Honor is really a woman. She just doesn’t “feel right” to me. YMMV) I digress.

Back to Ms. Johnson. Her fantasy romance series, The Sons of Destiny, was oodles of fun. But A Soldier’s Duty, the first book of her military SF series, now that was awesome. Full the complete details on just how awesome, take a look at my review. At the end of the review, I said I couldn’t wait for the next book in the series, An Officer’s Duty.

My wait is nearly over. An Officer’s Duty will be out on July 31. Finally!

What’s on your wishlist this week?




On My Wishlist-Waiting On Wednesday-Desperately Wanting Wednesday-On the Weekend (3)

As usual, I’m writing this post on the weekend. And mostly, tonight, I’m wishing we’d figured out how to get the grill to work.

We’ve never grilled out before. Not us. Not very domestic. But it’s summer. And it always tastes good. We decided to buy a grill and cook some steaks. Three hours later…

We finished them off on the stovetop. We were STARVING.

But they still tasted awesome. We’ll do better next time.

Oh, you were wondering about my wishlist books…

I am wishing that Julie Kagawa’s The Lost Prince will be as good as The Iron Fey series was. Here’s the blurb that’s teasing us all:

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’s dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.

Until The Lost Prince appears in October, we’ll have a teaser e-novella to tide us over.  Iron’s Prophecy comes out September 1.

I’d love to know what books you’re wishing for. What books would you just be lost without?

On My Wishlist-Waiting on Wednesday-Desperately Wanting Wednesday-On Saturday (1)

Yes, I know it’s not Wednesday. On Wednesday, what I mostly want is a clone. I have too many things to do and too little time to do them in.

Which is why I was using On My Wishlist in the first place. It ran on the weekends back in the good old days of March. But when it moved on to new management, it stopped.

So I’m Waiting on Wednesday at Breaking the Spine. Or Desperately Wanting Wednesday with Parajunkee. On Saturday. Mr. Linky will still love me on Wednesday. And I always want books.

If I didn’t well, I’d be somebody else. That person is down an entirely different leg of the trousers of time. I wonder who she is?

And there one book I’m stalking NetGalley for. (Isn’t there always?)

The next Chief Inspector Gamache book by Louise Penny has been announced! The title is oh so appropriate. It’s The Beautiful Mystery. No, really, the title of the book is The Beautiful Mystery.  

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

The brilliant new novel in the New York Times bestselling series by Louise Penny, one of the most acclaimed crime writers of our time

No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.” But when the renowned choir director is murdered, the lock on the monastery’s massive wooden door is drawn back to admit Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec. There they discover disquiet beneath the silence, discord in the apparent harmony. One of the brothers, in this life of  prayer and contemplation, has been contemplating murder. As the peace of the monastery crumbles, Gamache is forced to confront some of his own demons, as well as those roaming the remote corridors. Before finding the killer, before restoring peace, the Chief must first consider the divine, the human, and the cracks in between.

If you have not yet had the pleasure of making the Chief Inspector’s acquaintance, you have plenty of time to read the series before August 28th. They are marvelous, like no other mystery series. Start with Still Life. But start now.