The Human Library

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This was an event I had never heard of before, but as soon as I did, I was intrigued. It’s called the living library, or the human library. It’s about interacting with real people, and having real conversations with them about their fields.

The concept

  • An individual accepts to take part in the event as a Book.
  • Book reservations for specific time slots will be available the day of the event at each site.
  • Books get “checked out” for 20 minutes by a Reader, during which they have a one-on-one conversation.
  • Readers can register for only one book at a time. First come, first served.

Background

Launched in Denmark in 2000, the Human Library was a way to focus on anti-violence, encourage dialogue and build relations. It has grown in popularity with 27 countries taking part in 2008, including Brazil, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Malaysia and South Africa.

The Ottawa Library held theirs on January 25th, and they had a lot of really interesting people available to ‘borrow’ including a Bylaw Officer at Carlingwood, a former gang member, a transgender, and a foster parent. The unique perspective that each person gave is something that just completely blew me away. I hope to see more of these events in the future, and if you have one such event taking place around your area, I highly suggest you check it out.

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New Books for Friday

Amazon has had some pretty great books for sale lately, so of course I couldn’t help but pick a few of them up and adding them to my to-read pile. They don’t follow my typical genres of choice which I’m really pleased about. Whether or not I will enjoy them is another matter – but I love reading, so how could I not enjoy these books?

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First up was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Saffer and Annie Barrows. I’ve seen a lot of good (and bad) said about this book, but it was actually recommended to me as a book club readers choice, and since I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, I decided to give it a whirl. At $1.99 it was a pretty simple choice.

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Next I picked up A Clash of Honor by Morgan Rice, which was free from a daily deal. I haven’t read the other books in the series yet and I may pick those up first before moving on to this one as it is 4th in the series, but we’ll see. Maybe those too will be part of a daily deal. I can hope!

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The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion has been getting a lot of press lately, and it was another $1.99 deal from amazon which is a fantastic price. I really like the idea of the book, plus it’s not one of my usual genres. This year I’m really trying to branch out and discover books that I may not have otherwise read, and I think I’m off to a really good start so far.

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Finally I bought When I found you by Catherine Ryan Hyde, and it was my final $1.99 purchase for the evening. I’m not exactly sure what inspired me to pick this book up other than it sounded really interesting and had gotten a few reviews that I found intriguing. None of my friends have marked it on their read lists, so I’m not really sure what to expect. That being said, once again the price was tempting in all of these instances, and I can’t wait to get started. I haven’t decided which one I want to read first yet!

Have you picked up any good books this week? Let me know in comments!

 

 

Currently Reading

I have more books on my plate at one time than I usually do, and it’s for a few reasons. Number one as I already mentioned earlier this week, I’m trying out audiobooks, and I’ve started with Moby Dick by Herman Melville, so that’s on my ‘currently reading’ list even though technically I’m listening to it.

I also have a few ARCs on my list (advanced review copy) and even though some of the books have already released, I’m still looking forward to reading them and posting a review. Those books include:

17707108  In the Company of Thieves, by Kage Baker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17239242 Board Stiff, by Piers Anthony (I’m almost done this one, so expect a review up soon).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1885 Then for my own reading pleasure and quiet time I’m reading Pride and Prejudice, which I never read in school for some reason.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After those are cleared from my plate I’ll be moving on to The Sundering book 2, 3, and 4 – all of which are ARCs. Even though the books are part of the same series, they’re written by different authors, and each author incorporates their main character into the story. The first book was The Companions by R.A. Salvatore, which I reviewed here on Nomadic Reader last year.

There are (at the moment) 77 books in my to-read pile and I would love to lower that to a more reasonable number throughout the year. Of course it’s a very GOOD problem to have and I’m not exactly complaining, I just need a lot more hours in the day to dedicate towards reading!

Are You Waiting for a Book Release?

I was reading a really neat post over at one of my favorite book review sites, Bibliosanctum, when it dawned on me. I’m actually NOT waiting for any books to release this year. I don’t even know how that happened, normally there is a book or two coming out that I just can’t wait to get my hands on but this year feels a little empty. Have  I fallen out of love with my favorite authors? I don’t think so. Looking over some of the books that are scheduled the only one that even draws my attention is Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence which isn’t due out until June. Likewise, there’s The Thorn of Emberlain (Gentleman Bastard #4) by one of my favorite authors, Scott Lynch, but we won’t see that one until around November.

There are a few books releasing some time in the future by more of my favorites that I certainly want to read, but most of them have no publication date yet. One of the books I’m most looking forward to would have to be Doors of Stone, by Patrick Rothfuss.

Of course part of this issue I’m experiencing may have to do with the fact that I’ve been reading a lot of classics, and lets face it there’s not a lot of anticipation in releases when the authors have been dead for a number of years. Is there a book or two releasing in 2014 that you’re waiting on with high anticipation? Leave a comment and let me know!

Lets Play Reading Bingo

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Randomhouse.ca is hosting their yearly Reading Bingo challenge and while I found out about it too late last year to participate, I decided that 2014 I would be sure to get involved. They have also added a Young Adult bingo card to the game this year, perfect for teenagers. Of course it’s all just for fun, but it’s a great way to branch out into books that you might not normally give a chance.

Of course reading any book at all is fantastic, but I tend to get a bit bored reading the same genre each month. Some times I’m not exactly feeling creative and this bingo card gives you some great motivation to go out and find something new.

Each time I complete one of the squares on the card I’ll be sure to post about it here. Right now I have started with the bottom left corner – a book your friend loves. That happens to be Moby Dick which I have never read  before but have heard many good things about it from one of my friends. Will I enjoy it as much as him? We’ll just have to see!

Review – children of fire by Drew Karpyshyn

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A brutal story of power, betrayal, and guilt, Children of Fire sets the table for what looks to be a decent series. It starts simple enough, introducing the main characters one by one through their births. It can be confusing for somebody with a fleeting mind (like me) as so many characters are introduced, but through attrition, manipulation, and of course magic – the characters start to come together. Things get a little easier to follow once most of the “heroes” are together and they follow a single storyline.

The characters aren’t perfect, both inside and out, and the adventure definitely takes its toll on both.

The story is a little slow paced to start but really picks up by the end of the book.

If the first book is any indication, the remainder of the series will be full of twists, turns, and of course brutal violence.

3/5 stars

Review – The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan

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Hero meets anti-hero in a fast paced tale of action and adventure.

Hadrian is our hero, a somewhat naive… killing machine? Turns out his father taught him to be a fantastic swordsman capable of amazing killing efficiency.

Royce is our anti-hero, a jaded thief who finds the simplest solution to any problem is to kill it dead, twice over.

Together they embark on an adventure – to settle a debt each owes the same man.

Of course, nothing is ever as it seems, and the adventure is nothing more than a ruse to make the two “opposites” learn about each other, in the hopes both turn out somewhere in the middle at the end of it all. There is the hint that they will be needed in the future, and both will need to improve their skills to face the challenges that lie ahead.

Aside from the obvious issue of the “naive hero” being a ruthless killing machine, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

It does a good job of introducing the major characters with enough left to the imagination to keep you wanting more.

I had a hard time putting this book down, its very well paced and well written, and left me wanting more.

5/5 stars

A Literary Treasure Hunt

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One thing I always love to hear about is initiatives to get people reading books. With all of the social media out there it’s pretty easy to forget that there are entire worlds forged by gifted crafters, and I would hate for people to miss out on that.

So tonight my attention was drawn to this literary treasure hunt taking place in Sudbury Ontario (and I couldn’t help but wish we had some sort of program like this taking place here in Ottawa) thanks to a post on CBC Books. Basically the library is releasing 100 books “into the wild” in the hopes that people find them, read them, review them, and re-release them for others to find. You can map where you found the book, and even leave details on where you’re going to leave the book so someone else can find it. The folks involved go on to say later in the article that technology is changing and that with it libraries also have to change. They mention specifically that libraries have a responsibility to get information out to people, and that they want to “bring these services to you” instead of you having to go to the library in the traditional sense.

I think this forward thinking is great and while it may seem like it’s not enough you have to keep in mind that if it encourages just a small handful of people to either read a new book, or visit their local library, or talk about it to someone else then the program has succeeded. Whether it is cost or time effective isn’t for me to decide, but I’m glad there are still people out there trying these things and inspiring people to read.

 

Books I’m Most Excited about in 2013

We all have our favorite types of entertainment, be they movies, a TV series, or books. I will be the first to admit that my patience is pretty much zip when it comes to waiting for a new book to read from a favorite author, and I know the authors must (at times) feel a bit pressured by their fans to put out the next publication. They’ll release when they’re ready, and I’m OK with that. So what am I most looking forward to this year?

 

2890090The republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch is probably at the top of that list and yes, I’m impatient. I devoured the first two books in the Gentleman Bastard series and can hardly believe that there’s already a schedule up for seven total books. These books are comforting and familiar, an epic battle and good ‘ol fashioned fantasy with a twist of some Oceans 11 in there to keep it all up to date and relevant. I can’t wait.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15804760Next on my looking forward to list has got to be Emperor of Thorns, also a third book in a series. This one is by Mark Lawrence, and while an initial glance at the book may put it out of my comfort zone, I just could not help but fall in love with the writing style. The characters are dark, the entire book is incredibly messed up – but in such a good way and written so well that it was one of those page turners that only come along maybe once or twice a year for me (and I do a lot of reading, so that is saying something). Highly recommended if you’ve never read the first two books.

 

 

 

 

 

13109291Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb actually already released back in April of this year, but it was one I had been looking forward to for quite some time – although the book did fall short of my expectations it was still a great series, and I’m glad I stuck with it. It’s a traditional fantasy book with dragons and memorable characters (even though some of them are quite annoying).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9268487My final book is The Daylight War by Beter V. Brett – and this book also released in February of this year but I haven’t found the time to get to it quite yet. It’s also another “3rd” in a series, what’s up with that? 2013 is apparently the year of the threes. Again this is a series with really memorable characters (for me at least) and fantastic world building, two key elements in any book that I enjoy a huge amount.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are (of course) other books releasing that I’m looking forward to – however these books are not releasing in 2013 and so I’ve left them off of my list. They include books like The Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss, and The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin (no release date yet, but estimating somewhere around 2015). At least it gives me something to look forward to though! What books are you most looking forward to? Let me know in comments!