Monday, August 26, 2013

South African Fiction Month - September 2013


Please note that this has been moved to its own dedicated blog Springboeke!

September is SA Fiction Month on Paranormalsphere!

Being proudly South African, I felt it was about time that we start celerating local authors and novels and give them the attention they deserve. This is also going to to be a fun journey for me as I will get the opportunity to read outside of my usual genre.

I have been chatting to local authors and have comfirmed the participation of:
  • Jassy Mackenzie
  • SA Partridge
  • Joanne McGregor

... and more to be added soon!

You can also expect guest posts, reviews and more!

I have also recieved a while pile of great local books from NB Publishers that I will be featuring and giving away during the course of the month. So please keep an eye out for this and enter!

If you are a publisher, author or blogger would like to get involved, please contact me!

Let's spread the word about great SA fiction!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Exclusive Books Warehouse Sale August 2013



I had an absolute ball at the Warehouse Sale this weekend.

This is what I found:

Roald Dahl boxset including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, The Twits, Danny the Champion of the World, George's Mavellous Medicine and The BFG. I am most excited about this find. I adore Roald Dahl and these will no doubt go to my kids one day.

Boxset of classic novels that had been turned into movies. This includes The Maltese Falcon, The Bourne Identity, Minority Report, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and more.

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Sweet Venom by Tara Lynn Childs
Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick
Department 19 books 2 and 3 by Will Hill
Haven by Tom Easton
Between by Jessica Warman
Wonder by RJ Palacio
Insignia by SJ Kincaid
Working Stiff by Rachel Caine
Intertwined by Gina Showalter
The Damned by Nancy Holder
Exile by Rebecca Lim
Pale Horses, Folly and Stolen Lives by Jassy Mackenzie
A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
Alice in Zombieland by Gina Showalter
Unremembered by Jessica Brody
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michele Hodkin
Becuase it is my Blood - Gabrielle Zevin
Doll Bones by Holly Black
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
Vortex by Julie Cross
Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J Bick
Envy by Elizabeth Miles
Sister, Sister by Rachel Zadok
What Hidden Lies by Michele Rowe
The Imagined Child by Jo-Anne Richards
Shards & Ashes

We need to Talk About Kevin - DVD

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte Audiobook
As You Do... by Richard Hammond Audiobook

And an assortment of puzzles and bookmarks.

So, all in all a good haul!

I went twice and found amazing stuff my second time around that they had not unpacked yet.

If you haven't been and are in the JHB and CPT areas, the sale runs for the rest of this month, so get down there. Don't think that going later means you will be missing out!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Phoenix (June 2012)

Marriage can be a real killer.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet? (From Goodreads.com)

*Very mild spoilers*

I am sure many people out there have at least heard of Gone Girl, if not read it. It was one of the most talked about books of 2012 and is being made into a movie due for release in 2015 (Ben Affleck is involved).

After skimming through the hoards of positive reviews online, I decided to give Gone Girl a shot, even though it falls well outside of my usual genre.

I have never been so disappointed with a book in my life. Never has a book evoked such strong emotions (mainly hatred) in me. I wanted to run to Goodreads and yell at everyone who rated this book highly. And ask them, "What the hell did you people read? Did you even get to the end of the book?"

Please don't misunderstand me. It is well-written. At times the writing is spot-on perfect. I can totally understand why people, who are used to reading crap like 50 Shades of Grey, think this book is the most amazing thing ever. Gillian Flynn can write.

What she cannot do, however, is tell a story.

The characters are awful, despicable examples of humanity. Nick is an emotionless sack of shit and Amy is a spoiled-rotten, self-involved cow who will go to any lengths to get what she wants. Why should I care about these people? I have better things to do. Like clean the sleep out of my cat's eyes.

The story is slow. I was hoping for something thrilling as this is a "thriller" is it not.

No.

It starts off well. I was duped into thinking this was going to be a cracker of a book with mystery and murder and mayhem and then we start going around in circles. The story goes nowhere for 200 pages. Nick feels sorry for his pretty self. People hate him. I hate him. I start wondering if I should clip my toenails. It's epic stuff.

And the climax? The whole reason why we read books? What a letdown. Amy is loathsome, vile and her actions led me to wishing that very unsavoury things would happen to her. I was expecting so much more.

Why is this book so popular? When I wasn't bored I was angry.

This is the LAST time I read a book based on the hype around it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Genre-Specific Blogging: A Question I am Pondering

Those of you who are familiar with me and my blogging journey from the days of NovelYear will know that I generally only blog about paranormal / sci-fi YA. And possibly make the assumption that I don't read much of anything else.

This is not true. While I do have my prefered bookish choices, I do drift outside of this every now and then. My current read, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, is  perfect example. I chose it specifically becuase of the hype behind it. I felt I owed it to myself as a reader to read these much talked-about books that make marks on bestseller lists.

But, then I start asking myself if these have a place on my Blog, which has a very specific theme. Do I want to write a review of Gone Girl and pollute what has been, until now, a YA-only blog?

I do not have the answer to this. I could start another Blog, but I barely have enough time for this one as it is. And the guilt is already sky-high as a week goes by without a new post. So, that is not really an option.

I don't spend too much time on Goodreads and feel that writing reviews there doesn't really aid my personal online 'brand" as it were. It's just more admin I simply do not have time for.

The final solution that is knocking around my head is potentially overhauling and rebranding Paranormalsphere. But that is like renaming and sending your firstborn through a complex gender-change operation.

I love my blog and I am passionate about building it up slowly into something substantial one day. Even though it is just a hobby, it is an outlet for my passions and love of reading. I do not want to compromise that.

So... does anyone out there have any ideas or suggestions? Perhaps you see something this blog is lacking (besides regular posts haha) and wish to let me know? Please comment!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

It's August! - What to Expect on the Blog

Who else can't believe it is August already?

There are some exciting things happening this month which I will be blogging about.

I also have some epic reads sitting in my TBR pile that I hope to get to, providing I don't get distracted along the way!

THE EXCLUSIVE BOOKS WAREHOUSE SALE

The 9th August marks the start of the second EB Warehouse Sale of the year. This is the biggest event for bookish folk and I am already buzzing with anticipation!

For those who have not been, the sale is brilliant. Thousands of books of all genres for the choosing, going at jusr R50/kg. I kid you not. For those who are bad at math, I worked out that you can get about five average-sized novels for R50. Earlybirds will also find CDs, DVDs, bookmarks and other goodies that you can take with abandon, as they essentially cost nothing.

Here are my tips to survive this event:
  • Get there early! The crowds really start piling up by the tills, although this is managed quickly and efficently by the helpful, friendly staff
  • Do a walkthrough first to suss out where things are. The warehouse is huge and items are usually kept to specific sections. This will save you time and frustration later when you are lugging around a box of books.
  • The warehouse gets quite hot and stuffy, so wear comfortable clothes and shoes and have water handy.
  • Grab what you like first and sort later! Someone else may find that book while you are busy mulling over it. Or it may be lost in the piles of books on the tables. Rather have it safely in your box. You can always put it back.
  • Be patient and please watch out for others. I was hit in the head last time by some inconsiderate man with his very heavy box. You are not going to be the only perosn at the sale. Be kind to others, be patient. There are plenty of books to go around.
  • Bring along a suitcase with wheels. Your haul gets heavy very quickly! They do provide some flatbed trollies, but there are not many to go around.
  • Have a shopping partner! There is a lovely place across the road that sells food and drink (Bratwurst!) and it can be handy to shop in shifts or tackle different sections knwoing what the other person has in mind.
I will be blogging about the sale, complete with pics and what you can find there, so keep an eye out!

TBR Pile - part of my A-Z Challenge
  • The Diviners - Libba Bray
  • Everneath- Brodi Ashton
Books that I Want to Buy
  • Apocalypse Now Now - Charlie Human
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
Have a great month, everyone! Happy reading!