Monday, October 10, 2011

Mailbox Monday: Litquake 2011 edition

What a week it's been!  After nearly a decade in San Francisco, I took a BIG step in my life as a citizen.  I got a library card.  My first San Francisco library card.  I mean, you saw the picture from my apartment; you know why I never needed one before.  But I've been inspired by technology, because now, from the comfort of my own home, I can borrow e-books for my Kindle and audiobooks for my iPod, and that is awesome.  I'm still not a big fan of the concept of giving books back, but it's nice to have the option to borrow.  And a big kudos to the helpful folks at my local library branch, who not only walked through the technology with me, but also gave me a choice of designs for my library card, LOL.

So, I've been talking about this for a while, but San Francisco's annual literary festival, Litquake has officially begun!  I'll be attending a bunch of literary events in the next week, and wherever possible, I'll shoot video.  My week got off to a great start yesterday with an event that could only happen in San Francisco!  And, oh yes, I got video.  It's shocking!  And it's uploading as I type.  With any luck, I'll be able to get it posted later today.

And, I'm off to see Christopher Moore tonight in conversation with his friend Flip Nicklin.  Flip is a renowned underwater photographer and whale researcher, and the two met while Chris was researching his novel Fluke.  So, I'm willing to bet this will be an interesting evening.  It almost feels like two parts of my life are intersecting.  I used to interact with underwater photographers (including Flip's dad) on a daily basis back in my dive magazine editor days.

On Tuesday evening, I'll be going out to hear Chuck Klosterman, who's The Visible Man I liked very much.  Wednesday, I'm taking a night off from the Litquake to attend a film screening.  Thursday, I'm considering attending a literary/theatrical crossover event, and on Friday, I'm thinking Jeffrey Eugenides.  There are some daytime readings I may attend on Saturday, and the whole shebang ends Saturday night with the famous Lit Crawl through San Francisco's Mission District.  Hundreds and authors participate in readings in every sort of venue imaginable (art galleries, bars, boutiques, coffee houses, theaters, sex shops, and yes, bookstores).  You can count on at least 10,000 lit lovers flooding the neighborhood.  The crowds are a pain in the ass, but how can you mind seeing that many people embracing literature?

And on that note...

The Sense of an Ending
by Julian Barnes
Release date: October 5, 2011
Source: Purchased with Audible credit

I predicted that if this novel won the Man Booker Prize that it would be released earlier than the originally scheduled date of January 21, 2012.  Apparently merely being the presumed winner was enough to get the novel released two weeks ahead of the announcement.  (Which comes in 8 days!)  Review to come shortly.

by Ally Condie
Release date: November 30, 2010
Source:  Purchased with Audible credit

I've had the highly-coveted book two of this trilogy since May.  I've been meaning to read the first one for the past year.  Now I have, and The Hunger Games it's not.

by Simon Toyne
Release date: September 6, 2011
Source: 3 Finished hardbacks from publisher

You may recall that I enjoyed this debut thriller quite a lot.  The kind folks at HarperCollins have supplied me with three shiny (literally) copies that I'll be giving away in a big blog hop giveaway starting this Saturday, October 15th!

There but for the
by Ali Smith
Release date: September 13, 2011
Source: The Amazon Vine Program

I've been meaning to read Smith for years, and I love the premise of this novel!  It's off to a great start.

The Stranger's Child
by Alan Hollinghurst
Release date: October 11, 2011
Source: The Amazon Vine Program

This will be another first for me, reading Hollinghurst.  I enjoy a good family epic.  The Booker watchers were shocked when this novel failed to make the cut for the short list.  Until that happened, it had been the presumed front runner.

The Judas Strain
by James Rollins
Release date: July 2, 2007
Source: $1.99 Kindle purchase

This is the novel where James "Jimbo" Rollins wrote about a nice, blonde, scuba diving lady named Susan Tunis, and proceeded to torture her for several hundred pages.  How could I pass up the special discounted e-book?

The Hangman's Daughter
by Oliver Pötzsch
Release date: August 2, 2011
Source: $.99 Kindle purchase

I have a paper galley, but for less than a buck, I like having a Kindle copy as well.  The novel has a lot of positive buzz.

The Shadow of the Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Release date:  April 12, 2004
Source: My first library book!

I read and very much enjoyed the second book of this quartet, but never did read this first one.  It's as wonderful as everyone says.  Hopefully the third book will be out soon!

Books finished this week:

Matched by Ally Condie
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Tension City by Jim Lehrer

Currently reading:

There but for the by Ali Smith
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

So, what have you been reading lately?  What books have you acquired lately?  Do let us know in the comments!

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