Meeting Holly, Cassandra and Lauren

I went to Books of Wonder last week — a great place for all ages! They were hosting a book signing event with Holly Black (LOVE her Faerie stories), Cassandra Clare (fan of her Infernal Devices series) and Lauren DeStefano (debut author of Wither) and a lot of people showed up!

The ladies read from their upcoming books and then did a bit of Q&A. I found the story of who Magnus is based on to be quite fun. I also loved Lauren’s eyeshadow (though you can’t really see it in the photo below).

There were a lot of people so it took me an hour to get my books signed! It would have taken longer, but someone was kind and gave me an earlier number.

I really wanted to chat with Holly and tell her that I was the nerd who graphed her word count for Black Heart. But I realised until later that the best time to speak to an author is while they are signing, even though I feel as though I’m interrupting them if I do. It’s quite hard to just stand there and wait until they are done because once the book is returned to you it’s as though your turn is over and well, it’s just awkward. Take my word for it .

It also doesn’t help that I’m super shy when it comes to strangers. So much so that when Cassie asked me what character I liked best instead of saying Clary I said Cassie. Le Sigh. I THINK I played it off well enough, but I won’t be surprised if she thought I was strange.

I loved that they gave us postcards from the characters in the book. Tres magnifique!

They also gave us a sampling of the books to come. I can’t wait to read Wither, however, it’s on a to-read list for now. Maybe in a few weeks I’ll be able to start. I love dystopian stories, especially because of the sci-fi side that they can take on. It’s fun to see the future others are dreaming and their thoughts on governments having full control.

The next big book event for me is BEA. I really hope I find my voice and am not shy there. I want it to rock!

A Visit to Strand Book Store

I stepped inside of Strand for the first time yesterday. I find it strange that I’ve lived in New York for 11 years and worked in Manhattan for 7 years, yet yesterday was the first time I’ve stepped foot in Strand. However, it had to be done, so when Anna suggested that we make our next meet up a visit to Strand I was excited.

Walking through the doors and seeing shelves and shelves and tables and shelves of books was enough to make this bibliophile happy. Anna and I perused the Young Adult/Children section, trying to find titles that caught our eye, also recommending books to each other as we moved along the aisles. I wanted to keep my purchases small, if possible, sometimes I can go overboard, but in the end I walked out with eleven books! I can’t wait to read them! Some are books I’ve never heard about, others are books I’ve been meaning to get for the longest while. These will probably last for quite some time, I’m so excited! Below are the books and descriptions, as well as links in case they sound amazing and you want to get them as well.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen:

Annabel Greene is the girl who has everything. At least, that’s what she portrays in her modeling shoots. But Annabel’s life is far from perfect. Her friendship with Sophie ended bitterly, and her older sister’s eating disorder is weighing down the entire family. Isolated and ostracized at school and at home, Annabel retreats into silent acceptance. Then she meets Owen – intense, music-obsessed, and determined to always tell the truth. And with his guidance, Annabel learns to just listen to herself and gains the courage to speak honestly. But will she be able to tell everyone what really happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends? 

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen:

Remy always knows when to give a guy “the speech” – right after the initial romantic rush, but before anything gets too serious. She’s had her fair share of boyfriends, and she’s learned all there is to learn from her mother, who’s currently working on husband number five. So why is it that Remy can’t seem to dump Dexter? It can’t be his name. It can’t be that he’s messy and disorganized. And it certainly isn’t that he’s a musician – just like Remy’s father, a man she never knew because he left before she was born. Could it be that Remy’s romantic rules to live by don’t apply anymore?

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen:

A long, hot summer … that’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father. 
But sometimes unexpected things can happen – things such as the catering job at Wish, with it’s fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a bout with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?

The Visconti House by Elsbeth Edgar

Fourteen-year-old Laura Horton doesn’t quite fit in. She lives in a crumbling mansion that everyone calls “the haunted house,” and she has more in common with her parents’ eccentric artist friends than the girls at school. So when loner Leon Murphy moves in next door, Laura avoids him at first; she doesn’t need anything else different or weird in her life.
But when Laura becomes obsessed with uncovering the history of her house – the Visconti House – she finds that Leon understand her need to know what happened to the lonely Italian gentleman who built it. Together, Laura and Leon begin to unearth the mansion’s history, a history of elegant dances, thwarted love, and secret rooms. In their quest for the truth, the unlikely pair forms a deep friendship. But will their friendship, sparked by a shared interest in the past, survive in the present?

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts.
There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard. But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge

In the city of Lovecraft, the Proctors rule and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order to dust. The necrovirus is blamed for Lovecraft’s epidemic of madness, for the strange and eldritch creatures that roam the streets after dark, and for everything that the city leaders deem Heretical—born of the belief in magic and witchcraft. And for Aoife Grayson, her time is growing shorter by the day.
Aoife Grayson’s family is unique, in the worst way—every one of them, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their 16th birthday. And now, a ward of the state, and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, she is trying to pretend that her fate can be different. 

Hannah by Kathryn Lasky

Hannah wants to be normal, but she’s not. The sea calls to her, and she can see a delicate tracing of scales on her legs. Billowing waves soothe her, but flat land makes her sick. She knows there’s something wild in her that’s different, wrong – and deeply thrilling.
Only one person seems to know who – or what – Hannah is. He’s a guest in the house where she works as a scullery girl, and his fascinated gaze follows her. She doesn’t understand his terrifying allure, or her longing. But even as the mystery deepens, Hanny is sure of one thing. A sea of change is coming.  

Jane by April Lindner

Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance. 
But there’s a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane’s much-envied relationship with Nico is soon tested by an agonizing secret from his past. Torn between her feelings for Nico and his fateful secret, Jane must decide: Does being true to herself mean giving up on true love?

Life, After by Sarah Darer Littman

For Dani, life in Argentina hasn’t been very normal or happy for a long time. A terrorist attack, which killed Dani’s aunt and unborn cousin, has sent the country into economic ruin. When Dani’s family can’t hold out any longer, they move to New York. It’s suppose to be a fresh start, but when you’re living in a cramped apartment, have an angry father, and are going to high school where all the classes are in another language – and not everyone is friendly – life in America is not all it’s cracked up to be. 
Then Dani becomes friends with Jon – who isn’t like all the other students – and popular Jessica who is hiding a painful loss of her own. And then there’s Brian, the boy who makes Dani’s pulse race. In her new life, the one After, Dani finds the courage to heal and forgive and to love and be loved again. 

Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund

Astrid Llewelyn is now a fully trained unicorn hunter, but she can’t solve all her problems with just a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend, Giovanni, has decided to leave Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend’s powers seem to be mysteriously disintegrating, and Astrid can’t help but feel that school, home, and her hopes of becoming a scientist are nothing but impossible dreams. 
So when she’s given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and put her skills to use as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she want–or can she? At Gordian headquarters, deep in the French countryside, Astrid begins to question everything she thought she believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and most of all her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns, or saving the unicorns from the world? 

La Petite Four by Regina Scott

La Petite Four are Lady Emily and her three best friends: Priscilla, Ariadne and Daphne. They’ve finally graduated from the Barnsley School for Young Ladies and can’t wait for the ball that will launch them into London Society.
Then detestable Lord Robert announces that he wants to marry Emily! This dreadful news threatens to prevent their ball from ever taking place! La Petite Four vow that no gentleman will come between them and what promises to be the biggest party of the season. Even if it means chasing Lord Robert all over town to discover his ugly secret, muddying their hems and constantly running into wickedly charming strangers like the mysterious James Cropper. Or could it be that James is following them?
But when La Petite Four uncover a deadly scheme, they realize they are the only ones who can put a stop to it. Now they don’t know who to trust – only that they must save the ball, and Emily, before it’s too late! 

Google Doodles Mr. Roger Hargreaves

I really like Google’s Doodles today =)

I remember reading these books …. last year … when I bought them for a little girl’s library collection. All children should have a library started for them! That way they have a lot of books to read when they are ready.

I don’t recall reading them when I was younger. I read other things, I’m sure. These books are fun for kids though. Is there a Little Miss Clueless? That might have fit me well growing up.

[images from Google]

An Attempt at Fancy: Fascinators

Ever since the Royal Wedding, I’ve been hoping that hats make a comeback in NY Fashion. You see a bit of a Fedora here and there, and a sunhat every now and then, but hardly anyone wears hats anymore! It’s a shame I say, a crying shame.

So, in an attempt to add to the glamour, I decided that I’d take my mom out for Mother’s Day — where she had to wear a hat — and to accompany her, I wore a fascinator. I was looking online at Etsy for one, but they were a bit bold for my taste — and pricey. So I decided to make one myself. I wanted a really simple one to wear to brunch with friends the day before and I wanted a fancier one to wear on Mother’s Day.

As a base I used a regular long Goody hair clip. I wasn’t planning on keeping these for a long period of time, maybe a few months, so I didn’t want it to be expensive.

I used regular Krazy Glue to hold the pieces in place. I’m sure there are special glues out there, but as this wasn’t made to last, I figured Krazy Glue would work just fine. Just be cautious, this glue works fast and fingers can get glued to stuff if one is not careful. I also used piers to hold pieces in place until the glue dried.

The feather, some butterflies and the flower pieces were all purchased at Michael’s. It’s amazing what things in craft stores can be used for with a little imagination!

The feathered piece was a bit on the extravagant side, not really my style, but I thought it might be fun to wear for tea with Mom.

I made a second – less loud – one for brunch with my friends.

I think it might be my favourite one … I might wear it even on “non special” occasions. =)

There you have it! Easy to make to your own unique taste. Inexpensive and fun, oh, and did I mention fancy?