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Weekly Geeks 2009-33: One Title Collection

This week’s weekly geeks:

Last year, I saw a movie, I think it was called Definitely, Maybe, that got me to thinking. In this movie, one of the girls was on a quest to find a particular copy of Jane Eyre, I forget now the specific reason why. But in the process of her search, she ended up with this massive collection of Jane Eyre books, from all sorts of places and years and styles. She had a shelf that went all the way around her room, filled with these wonderful Jane Eyre books.
It made me wish I had a collection like hers, a collection of one particular title, in all it’s various versions.
So, Weekly Geeksters, tell us, do you have a collection, (or are you starting a collection,) of one particular book title? If so, what’s your story? Why that book, and how many do you have, and what editions are they? Share pictures and give us all the details.

Or perhaps you dream about starting such a collection. What title would it be and what would it take for you to get motivated to start collecting?
Or maybe it’s the works of a particular author you collect (or want to collect) instead a certain book title?

I can’t say that I ever considered starting a collection of one specific title. We have a few different issues of “Dracula”, but I can’t really call them a collection, because they came about by accident rather than on purpose. If you look at the state of our bookshelves (as you can see here, for example), it is not that easy to find a specific book, so it sometimes happens that we buy a book that we already have. Admittedly, after four copies of Dracula we should know by now that we own Dracula in abundance. So I don’t think that we will continue that collection.

Then we have a few issues of “Lord of the Rings”, but that happened when two households were thrown together. So, not a collection either.

I don’t know what would make me collect various issues of a certain book. If I’m not after special editions or signed copies, why would I collect a certain title? Maybe, if the cover art on the various issues is especially interesting. But offhand I can’t think of any title I’d be interested in collecting.

As for authors, again, no. Of course, I have several books of certain authors, but I wouldn’t call them a collection either. I don’t have anybody on a sort of auto-buy list. I don’t have favourite authors whose books I buy sight unseen.

Then again, the only author that comes to mind is possibly Marion Zimmer Bradley. I have several of her books, not all related to the same series. But given the number of books she’s written, my little collection is very small indeed.

To see what other geeks are collecting, go to the weekly geeks.

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Forbidden Desire by Carolina Valdez

Blurb: Stan Gordon, M.D., is well aware of the unwritten code forbidding sexual liaisons between a physician and those in his charge, but when he provides intimate care for Brian Storm, a seriously injured police detective, he comes dangerously close to crossing the line. When he does, he’s shocked to find desire is forbidden, not by the code, but by the emotional demons with which Brian wrestles.

Tortured while working undercover before they met, Brian knows police policy prevents him from sharing the full story with Stan, yet not revealing the trauma in order to heal his emotional scars threatens to destroy their new and deepening love. If Brian can’t overcome what’s been done to him, will Stan leave him to look for a more responsive man? And will Brian be able to resolve his secret fears that he’ll be unable to function as a cop again?

Review: This is only a novella, I knew this, but somehow I think this would have been much better had it been another format, maybe an extended novella or short novel. A lot of stuff is packed into this, but is not really developed properly. We get a glimpse into the past of Brian when he was working undercover. We were told a lot about how he dealt with it during his sessions with the therapist, but this all was rather vague. When Stan and Brian were together we were told a lot, but not shown. I don’t know, somehow I couldn’t connect to those two men. Not that they were unlovable or anything, not in the least, they were both likeable characters, but the short format reduced the whole story to a description of the story instead of delivering the full thing.

Amber Allure indicates the heat level is 2, which means “Love scenes are explicit, frequent, and often contain graphic language.” Not sure about this one either. There are a few sex scenes, but they are either interrupted (like in the excerpt) or not very explicit – at least not according to what I’m used to. So, no, heat level 2 is slightly exaggerated in my opinion.

Available at Amber Allure

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Sunday Stealing: My Life according to The Smiths

Sunday Stealing: Jodi’s Meme

INSTRUCTIONS: Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title. It’s a lot harder than you think! Post as "Jodi’s Meme: My Life According to (BAND/ARTIST NAME)" The great thing is that if you have already done this meme, you can do it again with a different artist! Please do!

-Are you a male or female? Girl afraid

-Describe yourself: Half a person

-How do you feel right now? Asleep

-If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Back to the old house

-Your favourite form of transportation: The Draize Train

-Describe Your Morning Routine: These things take time

-Your best friend is: Shakespeare’s Sister

-What’s the weather like? Golden lights

-Pet Peeve? Barbarism begins at home

-If your life was a TV show, what would it be called? Bigmouth strikes again

-Your relationship: Oscillate wildly

-Your Fear: Panic

-What is the best advice you have to give? You just haven’t earned it yet, baby

-If you could change your name, you would change it to: Handsome Devil

-What do you say when you are frustrated? Heaven knows I’m miserable now

-Thought for the day: What difference does it make

-How you would like to die? Well I wonder

-Your soul’s present condition: Still ill

-Your motto: I started something I couldn’t finish

This was really fun. I always knew that the Smiths have the answer to anything.

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Weekly Geeks 2009-32: Why haven’t I read this yet?

This week’s weekly geeks: I think just about every reader has a least one book that they’ve been meaning to read for awhile (months or even years) but, for one reason or another, they just haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe it’s a book a friend recommended last year, or a title you’ve flirted with in a bookstore on more than one occasion, or maybe it’s a book that’s sitting right there on your bookshelf, patiently waiting for you to pick it up — but the thought is always there, in the back of your mind: Why haven’t I read this yet?
This week, tell us about a book (or books) you have been meaning to read. What is it? How long have you wanted to read it? And, why haven’t you read it yet?

At the moment I have four books on my TBR pile that have been there for ages.

“Shakespeare” by Bill Bryson

I have no idea why I haven’t read it yet. It was given to me as a gift and I should have read it by now. I love Bill Bryson’s sense of humour, I’m sure this is a geat read, once I’m into it. But somehow, I just don’t seem to be able to pull it out of the shelf.

“A Bloodsmoor Romance” by Joyce Carol Oates

I found this one in a bookshop, read the first few pages and liked them right away. I’d love to read it, but I think the length of the book keeps me from even starting it. My reading time is limited and I have to interrupt constantly. So with a book of 876 pages, I will take forever and will have to re-read the last pages constantly.

“Danse Macabre” by Laurell K. Hamilton

This is the 13th book in the Anita Blake series and considering the way this series has been going, it’s not surprising I never got around to start this book. I still haven’t finished book 12 “Incubus Dreams” yet. I hate Anita Blake anyway (for example see my blog post about Circus of the damned), so her constant having sex with anybody and everybody for no other reason than this stupid ardeur is annoying to me. I should remove this book from the pile.

“So Idle a Rogue” by Jeremy Lamb
The Life and Death of Lord Rochester

Another biography, this time of John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester. Rochester must have been an intriguing man. So again, I have no idea why I haven’t read this yet.

To read what other participants haven’t read yet, go to the Weekly Geeks.

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Letting in the light by Fae Sutherland

Blurb: When Rowan Lee arrived in the small, liberal Provincetown, he heard tales of the eccentric, brilliant, possibly insane Finnegan Clark. A world-famous mystery writer, Finnegan’s been to the top of the bestseller list more times than anyone can count. It’s about the only place he goes, sequestered away in his mansion by the sea.

Enter Rowan. The free-spirited lovechild of aging hippies, Rowan believes all anyone needs is love, and when he makes a delivery to Finn’s mansion and meets the man himself, it’s infatuation at first sight. Not to mention lust. Never mind that Finn’s twice his age and snarls at him more than he speaks to him.

All Rowan wants is to make the world a better place, one person at a time, but all Finn wants is to be left alone. Sparks fly, and if Rowan can’t break Finn’s walls down, he’ll burn them down…one sizzling encounter at a time…

Review:  If I hear the term May/December romance one more time I’m going into rant mode. Really. Why May/December? I don’t get it. Rowan is 24, Finnegan is 49. So what is May and December about them? I prefer the term “age gap” by far.

Right, so Rowan meets Finnegan and from that point on he basically keeps him company, whether Finnegan wants it or not. And, at first, Finnegan doesn’t. However, he changes his mind rather quickly. Too quickly for me. After a second meeting he calls Rowan and asks him over, because “he wants him”. I don’t know, but what we know about Finnegan up to here doesn’t match up with that behaviour. I would have thought (and hoped) he’d put up a bit more resistance. Anyway, he doesn’t, and from then on, it all goes, well, not smoothly – there are a few bumps in the road, but not too many – but quite pleasantly along its way. The sex scenes are pretty hot, Rowan and Finnegan are two heroes you just have to like. Towards the end, to make the whole story not too sweet, and also to give Finnegan a chance to finally leave his house and go into the outside world, along comes Jake, Rowan’s so far best friend, who turns out to be some kind of creep who wants Rowan to himself. That whole incident was resolved rather quickly and without too many problems, and the story ended on a really positive note.

As far as the age-gap is concerned, there were some hints that Finnegan had misgivings about the whole thing between him and Rowan, but they didn’t seem to stop him to pursue what he wanted. So, the angst level here was kept within a limit.

If you like age-gap stories this story is a must read.

Available at Amber Allure

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Weekly Geeks 2009-31: Second Chances

There have been times in my life where I reread a book (or author) I hated–or thought I hated–but the second time around ended up loving. Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever changed your mind about a book or author the second time around? Have you ever given a book or author a second chance?

If you have, I’d love to hear your stories. Blog about your experience(s) in giving second chances.
If you haven’t, I’d like you to consider giving a book or an author a second chance. You can blog about your intentions to do so–or if you’re a quick reader, maybe you can even squeeze something in!

I can’t think of any author that I ever hated so much that I wouldn’t give him a second chance. Well, that’s not 100% true. I read a book some time ago that was so terrible, that I actually went and threw it away. That was the first book ever that I got rid of in that manner.

 

Die einsamen Schrecken der Liebe However, there is a book, I started to read months ago and have never finished it. In fact I got stuck on page 50 and by now I’ve forgotten everything that happened until then. It’s “The people’s act of love” by James Meek. This is the description on amazon:

In a remote Siberian village, amid a lawless, unforgiving landscape, lives Anna Petrovna, a beautiful, willfully self-reliant widowed mother. A mystical, separatist Christian sect, a stranded regiment of restless Czech soldiers, and an eerie local shaman live nearby, all struggling against the elements and great social upheaval to maintain a fragile coexistence.
Out of the woods trudges Samarin, an escapee from Russia’s northernmost prison camp, with a terrifyingly outlandish story to tell about his journey. Immediately apprehended, he is brought before the Czech regiment’s megalomaniac, Captain Matula. But the stranger’s appearance has caught the attention of others, including Anna Petrovna’s.
This stranger, his bizarre story—if it is to be believed—and the apparent murder of the local shaman quickly become a flashpoint for this village: temperatures rise, alliances shift, and betrayals emerge. Written with a commanding historical authority and remarkable grace, The People’s Act of Love is an epic of desire and sacrifice that leaves the reader utterly mesmerized through to the final heart-pounding pages.

Somehow the book didn’t mesmerize me at all, even though I can’t say I disliked anything about it. It just didn’t keep my attention. I started reading other things in between, and once I start doing this, I know the fate of the book is sealed. So, maybe this week’s weekly geeks will encourage me to start all over again and possibly even finish it this time.

To see what other weekly geeks had to say, go to the Weekly Geeks site.

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What’s on your desk Wednesday

Admittedly I’m a little late for this. Lily from I love books tagged me with this meme where one is supposed to show one’s desk. It originates at alternative – read.com.

The rules:

1. Grab a camera and take a photo of your desk. Or anywhere you stack your books/TBR pile. And no tidying! Add this photo to your blog.Tag at least 5 people.
2. List at least 5 BOOKISH things on your desk (Examples are TBR pile or books you haven’t shelved…) List at least 5 NON BOOK things. (Like some of the more unusual items on your desk/table?)

desk

No stacked TBR books on my desk. I haven’t bought any paper books recently. I still have a pretty big TBR pile though, from the time I read m/f books. They are all on a shelf in our, um, spare room. In that room most of our books are stored. We have quite a few, they are stored in three or four rows on each shelf and they still don’t fit all on the shelf units. Sometimes it’s a bit hard to find a specific book…

My e-book TBR pile is stored on my PC or my e-book reader.

5 bookish things on my desk:

1. The pink thing is my Sony e-reader, called Mulder

2. Then there is a book called “Ariake”

3. An amazon gift voucher I got for my birthday from my colleagues

4. A blank paper book for notes is leaning on my PC

5. A small Thesaurus is on top of my PC

5 non bookish things on my desk, not that these are unusual in any way, though:

1. Cup of coffee

2. Headset

3. A pencil sharpener

4. A flower catalogue

5. A paper punch

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The Lost Symbol once more

You probably know by now that I’m not totally impressed with Dan Brown, but the ad campaign for his new book must even annoy the greatest fan. Some months ago they revealed the long awaited book cover. Needless to say there are two covers, not as in Harry Potter two covers – one for kids, one for adults – but rather one for Americans and one for Europeans. What the rest of the world will be getting I don’t know. The European cover looks a bit more unobtrusive, whereas the American one has this big red seal on it that for some reason makes me think of Scarlet Pimpernel, don’t ask me why. Supposedly the seal has something to do with the Freemasons. Now we know the cover of a book that’s going to be released in exactly 33 days, 3 hours, 9 minutes and 47 seconds (countdown courtesy of The Lost Symbol).

Next is the Facebook approach. When the official facebook page of Dan Brown reaches 100.000 fans Random House will announce the name of Robert Langdon’s next adversary. Wow, the name of the adversary. OK, so what if his name is Tom Smith? I don’t know anything about him, even if I know his name. Obviously not many people are interested in the name, the facebook page has only 66.000 fans so far.

Now his new website is launched, a website that looks quite good admittedly. I haven’t looked closely at its contents, though. According to Random House “the website includes information about all of Dan Brown’s books, bizarre facts, secrets and games.” I wonder how much advertising a book that has yet to come out can take before the potential readers get sick of it. I certainly am already.

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Kreativ Blogger Award

Lily from I love Books gave me this award some time ago. In my usual manner I totally forgot about it until yesterday when I went to Lily’s blog once again and remembered it. Thanks, Lily, for thinking of me. 

I’m supposed to list my 7 favourite things. I’m strictly talking things, so no family, friends and other living beings will make it on this list.

1. My Thursday morning breakfast at my favourite café

2. My Sony e-reader. It’s called Mulder.

3. Photoshop

4. Bookstores and books, even though I read mostly e-books nowadays. Nothing nicer than browsing a bookshop.

5. Our two art pieces by Claudine Hellmuth

6. My new netbook, because it looks so cute

7. Large purses, I always carry half my household around

That’s it. I’m supposed to tag people, but I’ll take some time to think about this and come back later.

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Weekly Geeks 2009-30: It’s a mystery

1."Do you love a little suspense in your life? Have you ever read a book that keeps you twisting and turning until the last page? Tell us about it (but not too much , we want to be left hanging ourselves). Or maybe there is a series of mysteries that you adore. Why do you keep reading about the same detectives?"***
2. To expand on that a little: the new TV series
Castle revolves around a popular mystery writer. There’s even talk that a novel will be published supposedly written by Castle himself. TV and books will muddy the entertainment waters once again. I think we all know of the Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes series on PBS and BBC as well. Not to mention the new movie Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law will open December 25, 2009. Looks pretty exciting!
If you were to be given special TV or movie producing powers, which mystery novel character(s) would you create a TV series or movie for? Who would you cast in the major roles?
You can:
Get creative and post photos of the cast, even the locations you’d love to see them in. If you’re really feeling artsy, create a fake
imbd page on your blog or make a trailer for your fantasy show.

I read a lot of detective novels. Most of them are historical ones. I like to read about of a lot of different time periods, the more ancient the better, but my favourite detective novels are probably the ones by Dorothy L. Sayers with Lord Peter Wimsey. I like gentleman detectives, and Lord Peter Wimsey is a perfect example. He’s a rich nobleman with expensive hobbies, he has a smart butler who assists him, and his sidekick, a police inspector, becomes his brother in law in the course of the books. The books’ plots often revolve around a certain topic and a lot of insider information is given about those topics. For example in “Murder must advertise” we learn a lot about the ins and outs of an advertising agency at the time.

The books with Lord Peter Wimsey are:

source: Wikipedia

He meets his later wife, Harriet Vane, in “Strong Poison” for the first time and from then on this romance (it takes a long time to develop from her side) is an ongoing theme, even if not the main one) in the subsequent books. “Thrones, Dominations” is set after their honeymoon (the honeymoon story would be “Busman’s honeymoon”), but there is one short story which is set years after where the Wimseys have a son who is around 4 or 5 as far as I can remember.

Some of the books have already been turned into films. There are excellent BBC TV mini series from the 70s with Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter Wimsey. He still has that down-to-earth feel that Lord Peter Wimsey displays on occasion, and yet he is sophisticated and refined. Edward Petherbridge who played Wimsey in a couple of films never achieved that in my eyes. After seeing Ian Carmichael I can’t imagine a better cast as Lord Peter Wimsey, so no suggestions from me.

For more participants in this fun topic go to the Weekly Geeks!