Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Top 5 things about Halloween

I love fall and I love Halloween, so what are my favorite things about Halloween?
5. Dolloween...ok, no one outside of my small group of doll collectors in Michigan has ever heard about it, but when I think of Halloween it is always associated with what we called Dalloween.  A Halloween party by all of the Michigan ball-joined doll collectors, where we all brought all of our dolls, the only time of year you'd ever see that many dolls in one place at one time.. 

4. The Candy.  I mean, really, who doesn't love the Halloween candy?  I don't go Trick-or-treating anymore, because I'm too old, and I don't pass out candy because I live in an apartment with a locked security door, but I work at a grocery store and get to eat lots of candy during our Halloween events.

3. Which leads directly into my next favorite thing about Halloween...Trick-or-treating.  I use to love getting dressed up and going around the neighborhood with my friends, and not just for the candy, but the whole experience.  As I got older, I loved being on the other end of that experience, being the one passing out the candy.

2.  The costumes.  The cool looks that others come up with , the chance to be someone else for a brief moment, its what Halloween is all about.

1. my absolute favorite thing about Halloween, though, are the pumpkins.  I love carving them (one year my roommate and I carved about 10-15 of various sizes) and I love seeing what others are able to do with them, especially those who can sculpt the flesh of a pumpkin into things I never knew a pumpkin could be...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2 Weeks, 3 Book Signings, Total Awesomeness

This has been a great couple of weeks, and it makes me so happy that I live in Lansing.
It started out with the "Smart Girls Kick It" tour, which made its final stop in Lansing. I was thrilled when I heard they were coming, since I missed Kelley Armstrong the first time she came through this area. I was beyond thrilled when I realized that this was the only stop where Carrie Ryan joined them. I got there an hour before the signing, and stayed four hours after it started, so I could get all of my Armstrong books signed. It was a great signing, they women were all entertaining, and had a great banter. I really hope that they make it this way again sometime. I don't want to go into what they discussed since I can't remember what they wanted kept secret. I will say that they did a lightening round of questions, where you could ask anything (the more embarrassing the better) that they could answer in thirty seconds. Very amusing. One of the great things about the signing (and there were many) is that almost all of the authors there had a story in Enthralled, so it was like having a souvenir of this signing in particular, getting them all to sign it.
This signing was followed by a signing last Thursday with Lisa McMann, promoting her new books, The Unwanteds.
It was really interesting listening to her talk about how involved her family is in her writing process.  Her son even drew a postcard that she is giving away as a limited edition with the book, and she's hoping that will be giving away new limited edition cards with each subsequent book in the series (looking like 7 right now).  I was so worried that my copy of The Unwanteds wouldn't arrive in time for the signing, since I ordered it from Barnes & Noble's website, on a 1-3 day shipping, and it took 5 days to arrive!  It arrived the day of the signing. 

Today, I was lucky enough to go to another signing.  This time Mike Mullin came promoting his debut novel, Ashfall.  Only four people showed up for the signing, but this meant that we really got to have a great discussion with him, learning a lot about his passion for Super Volcanoes, his writing process, his research, and what dystopian novels he'd recommend (including The Hunger Games, Epitaph Road, XVI, and Bumped, as well as classics like Z is for Zachariah).  He did a taekwondo brick break for us, at the beginning and the end of our discussion.  When he signed our books, he also signed a piece of the broken cement for us all, its definitely the most unique souvenir from a signing that I've ever gotten.  It might make a good bookend. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Collection of Ball-Jointed Dolls

Another contest on Princess Bookie's blog.  This time you write about what you collect and why. 
Well, I do love to collect books and manga of course, and I have tons of them.
 The one thing that I really love to collect though, is Asian Ball Jointed Dolls.  I adore all of mine, and often wonder where I can get money to buy more.  
Here are a few pictures of my collection:

cause this is a book blog, how about a doll in front of a book (cause my little vampire looked cute in front of it)

Trying to help me get money for more dolls and

some of my dolls and some of my manga

a large part of my collection

just cause he's

Yeah, I love my collection of dolls.

Mini-challenge: Favorite 5 of 2011

Another challenge at Princess Bookie.  This time, you have to tell the top five books that you've read in 2011.  And the winner will receive a mystery box of books.

My favorites are:

1. The Hunger Games (the whole series, I'm counting it as one)
I don't really think that I have to explain why this made my list.  My friend kept telling me that I needed to read these books, and I kept thinking I would eventually.  I'm really glad I finally did.

2. Leviathan (and Behemoth)
I bought this book because I loved the cover.  When I finally read it I absolutely fell in love with it.  The whole world is beautifully built and described, and I love the pictures in it.

3. Firelight
I seriously wanted to read this book, and couldn't really explain why.  I'm just glad that I did, because i really enjoyed it.

4. Forgotten
At first I didn't have any interest in this book, but I picked up a free sample of it at my local bookstore and it intrigued me.  To my surprise I really enjoyed it. 

5. The Gathering
I am a huge Kelley Armstrong fan, and this first book in her new YA series was not a disappointment.  It just makes me want to read more.