Details on Rowling’s New Book

So, I know this is a late post.  Sorry about that, I totally forgot.  It happens.  That being said, this is as good a time as any to announce that from now on I’ll only be doing one post per week.  It’ll go up on either Saturday or Sunday.  I feel like I’ve been spending too much time on the Internet and I want to change that.  So this is part of that mission.

Okay.  On to business.

This week, J.K. Rowling released the synopsis and title of her upcoming novel, which now has a tentative release date on September 27th.  You can also pre-order it.

The title is The Casual Vacancy.

Here’s the synopsis, taking directly from Rowling’s website:

Little, Brown announces details of J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.

When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock.

Seemingly an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.

It sounds awesome, and judging from the synopsis it will be just as beautifully layered and intricate as the Harry Potter series is.

What do you guys think?  Are you excited for The Casual Vacancy?  Or do you fear that it’ll be disappointing given the brilliance of her previous work?  As for me, I’m about as optimistic as you can get.  I can’t wait to have this on my bookshelf.

Happy reading.

She Really Needs to Sort Out Her Priorities

I’m guessing it’s no secret that I like books.  A lot.  In fact, I like books so much that I can’t resist buying one when the opportunity arises.  Fifty cents at a yard sale?  Buy it!  Three dollars at a closing Borders?  Why not?  However, this brings more problems than it might seem.

You see, when I buy a book that looks really good, I’ll put down the one I’m currently reading in order to read the new one RIGHT THAT MINUTE.  You can plainly see how that works, readers, because I usually have AT LEAST two books named that I’m currently reading in the sidebar of this blog.

I haven’t read Omnitopia Dawn in months.

Readers, this is bad.  I love books, but I basically have the literary attention span of a squirrel.  I can’t stay on one book long enough to finish it as long as there’s a SHINIER, NEWER, COOLER BOOK out there for me to get my hands on.  When I started reading Divergent?  EVERYTHING ELSE WAS DROPPED.  But, come on.  It was Divergent!

My reasoning is that the book I was reading is good, but it’ll still be there later on, and it won’t kill me to read this new thing.  But, then again, the new thing will still be there, too.

I didn’t say my reasoning was logical.

Most of the time this happens with a long-anticipated sequel, which is forgivable, I suppose.  But the really bad part about all this is when the books I haven’t read start to pile up.  I start to forget about them completely as they collect dust on my shelf.  Today I wondered what they would look like all together in a pile, as a visual reminder of my laziness.  And so we come to this:

This is not good. Not good at all.

That’s twelve books, ladies and gentlereaders.  If you count the Stieg Larsson series as three separate books.  But I did get those all together for one price at a yard sale.

Some of these I knew I would read “eventually.”  Some I started to read but put down because it wasn’t for me (I know, I know.  I’m ashamed).  But this has become a real problem.

So “eventually” starts now.

No longer will these books hide in my bookshelf!  No longer will they be ignored!  From this moment forward, this unseemly stack will remain in plain sight as a reminder that I MUST READ THESE BOOKS!  The conquest starts today!

…Or as soon as I finish Lord of the Rings.  Because those are from my school library.  And I’m already halfway through.

Which reminds me.  I should probably finish The Two Towers today.

Happy reading.

P.S. Bonus points go to whoever can tell me what movie the title of this post is from!

Atra Esterni Ono Thelduin*

Well, I did it.  I read Inheritance.  It took me FOREVER, but it happened.  The Cycle is over.

Now I can get back to LOTR…by the time this whole shenanigans is over I will be fully versed in the fantasy genre.

It was a good book.  I don’t really have much to say without giving away spoilers.  And spoilers are no fun, are they?  No.  Exactly.

This book was…satisfying.  It was everything I hoped the climax of the Cycle would be, and a lot of things I never imagined for this series.  It was funny at parts (those parts mostly involving a certain herbalist) and sad at others.  The ending was more bittersweet than I had thought it would be.  But I suppose it was inevitable.

One exciting bit about this week was that I got to go to a signing for the book.  Christopher Paolini was really fun to listen to- his discussion and question-answering ranging in topic from Viking mead halls to a certain time-traveling physician- but he also gave some great advice about writing.  I had an awesome time.

Now, I would wax poetic about how this is the end of an era, and it’s sad, and how my life is changed forever (which is technically true, if you think about it, in the most basic sense- before I hadn’t read this series, and now I have), but I already did enough of that last week and way back when in July (albeit with a different series).  So now I’ll just tip my proverbial hat to the series and the man who wrote it, for being my first introduction to real fantasy, and also to this book, for being a very fitting ending.

Oh, and if you’re reading/have read the book?  I’m guessing you still want to know more about Angela.  My advice: look in the Acknowledgments.  I think you’ll find an answer.

If any of you lovely readers want to discuss the book, I’m always open to talking about it in the comments of this post.  There might be spoilers.  You have been warned.

Also.  Sorry there’s only one visual today.  I figured that was already covered last week, as much as it could be with this topic.

That being said, isn’t that picture ADORABLE?  In a dragon-y way, of course.

Happy reading!

*Yes, I do see the irony in giving a greeting as the title of a post in which I say farewell to the series.  But I like that title.  So we’re running with it.  Besides, made-up languages are much more fun.

UPDATE: Some of you are asking for the writing advice Mr. Paolini gave, which I admit would be an excellent addition to this post.  Basically, he broke it down into five parts:

  • Read everything.  That means EVERYTHING.  Even things you don’t think you would like.
  • Write persistently.  That means every day, including Christmas.  Also birthdays.
  • Learn as much about the language as you can.  Editing is important here.  It was mentioned that more can be learned from the editing than from the writing itself.
  • Write what you want to write.  You have to like what you’re doing.
  • Try to have fun.

Of Eragon and Endings

Today’s post is dedicated to the final book in the Inheritance Cycle.  Guess what it’s called.

Inheritance.

A quick word about my Halloween costume first: the post about that is in the works, but I’m afraid it’s not the incredible spectacle I was hoping for.  Therefore, let me just say I was Katniss Everdeen during the 74th Hunger Games.  And it was GLORIOUS.  And if you, dear readers, really want to see it, let me know and I’ll put up that post.

My experience with the Cycle started back in private school.  I want to say third grade, but it could have been anywhere around there.  It was at my school’s book fair that I first saw Eragon: a paperback book with such a pretty blue cover, and with a dragon on it, no less.  The pages were deliberately made to be jagged and uneven, which was strange.  It was a thick book, too.  But it was the dragon that transfixed me.

I kept going back to that book, and so eventually I bought it.

At first it was slow, and I almost put the book down within the first two chapters.  But then Saphira’s egg hatched and I remember reading it in a rush, caught up by the story.  I remember reading it over and over again, and it quickly climbed the ranks of my favorite novels.

I remember when Eldest came out.  I did not buy it right away, so I managed to snag a limited edition, with extra artwork and a complete list of everything in the series thus far.  I remember loving the forest of Du Weldenvarden, as well as the POV shift to Roran.  I remember eagerly searching the Internet for signs of when the third- and final- book would come out.

I remember the release of the movie, and how intensely excited I was.  I remember loving it, only to re-watch it a few years later and finally notice how horribly the producers had mangled the plot, ruining any hope of a sequel (why, oh why, does Brom tell him straight out that he’s a Rider??).

I remember my shock and elation at the news that the trilogy was now a four-book cycle.  I remember waiting for the name of the book to come out: Brisingr.  I remember going to Borders (may it rest in peace) the day it came out.  I remember the cashier remarking that everyone was buying Brisingr that day.

I remember finishing the book one day in school, looking at the back page, and feeling my anticipation for the final volume rise.  I remember the long, dull years we waited for news, any news at all, of the fourth book, and having it not be forthcoming.  I remember two companion books, one by Paolini and one by a fan, that came out during this time.  I remember my frustration that Brisingr should be in paperback, and all these extra things be created, and still the fourth book be far off on the horizon.

Then I remember the news via a Barnes & Noble email that the fourth book would be coming in November.  To me, this marked the beginning of the culmination of something I had been following for much of my life.

And so now we come to this.  With the release only a few days away, it feels strange to me that this should be ending.  It is much like this summer and the release of the final Harry Potter movie.  In fact, the feeling is more so, for I have been following the Cycle longer than I have Harry Potter.

At last all the fandom’s theorizing and speculating (of which I’ve done my fair share) will come to an end, and we will know the answers to all those question that have yet to be addressed.  There will be no more eagerly waiting for news, no more years between books, and we’ll finally know what in Alagaesia the Rock of Kuthian is.

As the Cycle comes to a close, we should applaud Christopher Paolini for his work, and for having such a stunning start to what I am sure will be a spectacular career.  No matter what happens in this final book, the series has come immensely far, and I will always consider it one of my favorites.

Happy reading.

Yes, I Know I Have No Life

How do I know this?  Because the most stressful thing in my life right now is the amount of books I need to read.

Yeah.  It’s ridiculous, I know.

Not *that* kind of Riddikulus.

Anyway, that’s why I don’t have time for a super long post today.  You see, I’m determined to get The Fellowship of the Ring* finished today, and I still have about 150 small-type pages to go.  Thank goodness for three-day weekends.  This book is going to keep me busy at least for the rest of today, and then I have homework and my post for Teens Can Write, Too! that’s due on the 18th…

Like I said, stressful.  But I think I can manage.

I'm not blonde, but...you get the point.

Why am I rushing myself to get this book read?  Well, for one, I’ve been on it for about a week now and made little progress.  And two, Inheritance comes out November 8th (!), which means I’m going to have to reread those books before that.  And I can’t do that because I’m reading this trilogy first.

Being a book nerd is so hard sometimes.

Okay, I just need to calm down.  Open the book, log off of Panem October, and get this song out of my head.

I can do this.

Happy reading (I hope)!

 

*My thoughts on the book so far?  Quite good, for my first real immersion into epic fantasy, but a little too much description for my taste.

Your Brain on Facebook (via MaggieCakes)

Hey guys! Sorry for missing a couple of days. I have a couple of posts I’m working on right now, but they’re going to take a little time. Luckily, I have this lovely post about social networking to share with you!

Your Brain on Facebook Or, I worry for my generation So, apparently our bodies were built for running not reading; you could have fooled me.  My brain, body, and general self like reading (whether physical or digital text) more than pretty much any other activity.  I feel a deep affinity with text; for me, it’s central to my human condition.  Today I read an ar … Read More

via MaggieCakes

Scorpio Races AWESOMENESS!

I’ve posted before about Maggie Stiefvater, an author whose books I fully enjoy, primarily the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy.  Well, in October she’s releasing her next book, a standalone piece called The Scorpio Races.  It looks very exciting, it’s all about Irish water horses and the myths surrounding them.  It looks great.

As I said, that’s coming in October.  BUT!  A lucky three people will be able to receive Advanced Reading Copies, or ARCs, of The Scorpio Races.  All one needs to do to enter is embed the trailer for the book on their blog, Facebook, or Twitter.  And that’s what I’m doing here.

Because it would be so awesome to get an ARC.

I should tell you that the trailer was animated, scored, and performed by Mrs. Stiefvater herself.  She did trailers for the Mercy Falls books as well, and personally I think the work is stunning.  It definitely makes me want to read the book.

So that’s it for today.  I just thought I’d sneak this in here now even though I already posted once today.  The Scorpio Races is just that awesome.  Also, if any of you are fans of Mrs. Stiefvater, or just want a chance to win this, the contest page is here and here is the post on her blog where she announced the contest.

Happy reading!