Monday, 15 June 2009

Mailbox Monday and Book Award Challenge Wrap-up

So, I thought I was doing well. I thought I might do it. Actually, I thought I had completed this challenge, but when I tallied up the last minute rush, I discovered I fell at the post. *Sob!* I read 9 out of 10 books for this challenge:

1. Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand - Fred Vargas (Duncan Lawrie International Dagger, 2007)
2. Briar Rose - Jane Yolen (Mythopoeic Award)

3. Jonathan Strange and Dr. Norrell - Susannah Clarke (World Fantasy Award)
4. Tamsin - Peter S. Beagle (Mythopoeic Award)
5. Doomsday Book - Connie Willis (Nebula Award)
6. The Grey King - Susan Cooper (Newbery Medal Award Winner, 1976)
7. Watchmen - Alan Moore (Hugo Award for 'Other Form', 1988)
8. Case Histories - Kate Atkinson (Prix Westminster)
9. The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss (Quill Award)

I really enjoyed this challenge. I have three books that aren't quite finished, that all could have been included had I finished them in time, but alas! The real joy of this challenge is seeing how many award winners I did read, and even more, that I really enjoyed every single book I read. If there is another year of this challenge, I'm joining again!!!

I am also surprised by how many fantasy and science fiction books I read for this challenge. It was a lot of fun looking for books that I wanted to read, and that were award winners, too. The very sad thing is that Middlemarch never won any awards, so I couldn't include it here!

Mailbox Monday
On to what's come into my house recently (and there might be an award winner or two in this lot, also!):
These are the books from my children's fete at their school on June 5. If you recall, last year I did the same thing, going in near the end and filling a bag for a nominal sum. This year, I filled a bag with books for $10 - it was a big bag that I brought from home for this purpose!

1. Le Morte d'Arthur - vol 2, Sir Thomas Malory -Penguin edition. No sign of vol 1 unfortunately. It's easy enough to find here in a used bookstore, though.
2. Six of Swords - Carole Nelson Douglas. I read this years ago. Among my older fantasy favourites that I want to revisit one day.
3. Where Old Bones Lie - Ann Granger. I have another one in this Mitchell and Markle series, which I want to read.
4. The Privilege of the Sword - Ellen Kushner. SCORE! I have the second and third book in this series, and this is out of print again. Once I picked it up, I realized I had read it years ago, but need to reread it so I can reread the second one (Swordspoint) in order to read the third one (The Fall of the Kings). I am so delighted with this find. And it's in good condition! ****If you are looking for an excellent fantasy that's smart and funny and has swashbuckling swordplay and romance, this is one I recommend.
5. What the Dead Know - Laura Lippman. I keep coming across this one, so this time I shrugged and said, 'okay!'
6. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee. SCORE! One of my favourites, I recently discovered I didn't have it on my bookshelf, and decided this had to remedied. Again, in almost perfect condition too.
7. Jack of Kinrowan - Charles de Lint. SCORE! This combines Jack the Giant Killer (which I read years ago) and Drink Down the Moon (also read). I don't have either, and even if I can't get it read in time for the Canadian Challenge eh 2 this year, there's always next year! A very delightful fantasy duo, one of the rare ones set in my city of Ottawa.
8. Badger's Moon- Peter Tremayne. Looks interesting, set in historical Ireland and a mystery, always a draw for me. A Sister Fidelma mystery, apparently.
9. An Island Apart - Lillian Beckwith. Scottish setting, in the Hebrides, with happiness being prevented by the 'silent, brooding presence of her brotherin-law'....shades of Heatchcliff, anyone??! and besides, I used to have customers who would order these books and swore by them. Or maybe it's the fact the story is set on an island far from civilization .....
10. The Awakening and Other Stories - Kate Chopin. I'd say score, except living in a university town, this is always available. After Eva's excellent review, I decided I had to give this a try. No, I didn't have to read it for any of my university courses long ago!
11. Sick Puppy - Carl Hiassen. One of my favourite sarcastic funny writers, I am collecting his books now. I've read several, but not this one.
12. The Rez Sisters - Tomson Highway. SCORE! I read this play years ago for university. I loved it. Highway is Cree, one of our celebrated native writers, and part of his bio says: 'Tomson Highway's ambition in life is to make 'the rez' cool, to show and celebrate what funky folk Canada's Indian people really are.' This play is set on a reserve, and it's about a group of women who want to organize a bus trip to Toronto to win The Biggest Bingo in the World. It's very funny, and heart-breaking, and I am delighted to get my hands on a copy again.
13. In a Sunburned Country - Bill Bryson. Who doesn't want to visit Australia one day? And it's a hardcover edition, too.
14. Stealing Magic - Tanya Huff. I've never seen this book by her before, nor the cover; it's put out by Tesseract Books, a small Canadian publisher. It's fantasy, and since I enjoy her Summon the Keeper series so much, I thought I'd give this a try. Huff is a Canadian author, living outside Kingston, and she also writes the Blood novels, the vampire and ex-cop series set in Toronto that I have also read. Plus, there is her new series about the guy who can see ghosts.....generally, this is a solid Canadian fantasy writer, and I'm hoping this will be as much fun as her other books are!
15. Foundation - Isaac Asimov. I can't remember if I've read all of this series, or just some, so I'm beginning to collect them again in order to read/re-read them. It's in rough shape, but a 9th printing of the first edition, so somewhat collectible. Which makes it fun to have, too!
16. Coffin's Game - Gwendoline Butler. I've heard that this mystery series was good, so again, I'm collecting a few in the series in order to read them.
17. Cracking Open a Coffin - Gwendoline Butler. Another one in the same series - the detective's name is John Coffin, so it's all a pun too.
18. Fairy & Folk Tales of Ireland - edited by W. B. Yeats. SCORE! SCORE!! In paperback, and combines both Fairy and Folktales of the Irish Peasantry (1888) and Irish Fairy Tales (1892), both published by Yeats. I'm very happy, this is in really good condition too. These are Irish fairy tales collected by Yeats, and he gives his sources, so it's an invaluable collection of Irish fairy tales.
19. Arms and the Women - Reginald Hill. I'm a big fan of the Dalziel and Pascoe British tv series, and I've read the odd book in the series, not all, and I'm about to remedy that.
20. Good Morning, Midnight - Reginald Hill. The lovely thing about these book fairs is that sometimes people give several books in a series away.....
21. One Good Turn - Kate Atkinson. SCORE! I just read the first book in this series! And I almost bought number two new, so this is a real find, and at about 28 cents, too! I feel guilty saying that.....I wasn't sure they would do the fill a bag or box for $5, and I was glad to pay my $10, and offered I think $15, because I had so many books. I didn't think I had this many, though!
22. The Mill on the Floss - George Eliot. SCORE! An Oxford paperback edition, in great shape! I can finally put to rest the question everyone has raised in my mind, by saying they liked Mill on the Floss better than Middlemarch, which I find hard to believe. I remember trying to read this in university and giving up, so fingers crossed I have better luck this time. At least I have it now, to read!
23. Fatal Remedies - Donna Leon. I already own two others in the series, so now with these, I can begin reading them and see why they come so highly spoken of. These all have the same publisher so the covers look good together, too! Did I mention I love these donations of books for sales?
24. Aqua Alta - Donna Leon.
25. Suffer the Little Children - Donna Leon.
26. Friends in High Places - Donna Leon.
I bought two other books but already had them, so they aren't included here. For having about 1/2 an hour to look through the books, wow.

Anyone want to come with me next year?


Lezlie said...

I am a Hiassen fan also. Striptease was one of my very favorites.

Nice job on the Book Awards II Challenge! The Book Awards III version starts July 1st, I believe, and we have from July 1 to the end of the year to read 5 books from 5 different awards. I think next year she is contemplating 10 books from 10 different awards. It's all going to be fun!! I'll be there with you!


Nymeth said...

Congrats on finishing the challenge, Susan! And speaking of Book Awards, when will the Mythopoeic Award Project be launched? :P I could help you set up a site for it once I'm done with school, if you'd like!

And wow, all those books for $10! That's an awesome deal :D I need to get my hands on The Rez Sisters. I really enjoyed his novel Kiss of the Fur Queen. SCORE indeed!

Eva said...

Love your huge pile!!! And 9 out of 10-I think you did awesome!

DesLily said...

Holy Sh** umm, Cow. Holy Cow!

Kathleen said...

I can't believe you got all of these books for only $10...that is incredible. I have Vol 1 of the Le Morte d'Arthur. You are right about finding it at used book stores. I found mine at my local library's used book store. You are reminding me that I need to read it!

Susan said...

Lezlie: Isn't Hiassen great for making fun of everything? My mother says everything he says about Florida politics/politicians is true....

thanks for passing on to me the Book Awards 3 version! :-D

Nymeth: I was just thinking as I sat down here, "Ok, where did i put those badges Nymeth made me, cause I think I'm ready to make the challenge now!" :-D I'll email you!! *hug* you can talk a newbie through the fun of creating a challenge....

Eva: thanks! I love the huge pile too. and I'm still mad at myself that I didn't finish one of those three books so I could get to 10!!

Deslily: Holy Cow *lol is right!!! I still feel that way!

Kathleen: welcome, I think this is the first comment you've left me, so I'll come find your site. Thank you! and it was an incredible find.

Memory said...

That's an amazing haul for $10! I always do the same with book sales. There are some great deals to be had on the last day.

Stephanie said...

Holy Cow! And I thought I did good at the library sale I went to last week! You scored some real winners!!

Great job on the challenge. I'd count it as a win in my book! It's way closer than I usually get.

Daphne said...

OMG, what a haul! Fantastic. I'm jealous.

John Mutford said...

Great job- 9 is close enough in my books, as long as you had fun.

Cath said...

Yeah, I did the 'nine' thing with the Awards challenge too. But you're right, it's enjoying the books you read that's important.

Ah. I need to check this Ellen Kushner thing because I have Swordspoint and thought that was the first book in the series, and Fall of Kings which I thought was the second. No? *Very* keen to read this series at some stage.

Wonderful haul of new books... for $10??? Am definitely coming with you next year, regardless of the £300 it would take to get there. ;-)

Am hoping you'll take this Mythopoeic idea forward.

Bybee said...

Nice score with In A Sunburned Country. I heart Bill Bryson when he's traveling around. Wish he'd come here!

Surprisingly, I don't have a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird. This is just wrong because it's super-available and it's a Pulitzer, but I can't find an edition that suits me...they all look a little cheaply made. I want a nice trade paperback copy or perhaps even a hardcover.

Gentle Reader said...

Wow, you really scored! Some amazing books there, and for a great price :)

I wish I was a better challenge-finisher. You did a great job!

Kailana said...

Congrats on finishing the challenge! Lots of good books there. I hope you enjoy them!

JaneGS said...

Passing on the good vibes: I've nominated your blog for the Kreativ Blogger Award.

Visit me for details:


Susan said...

Memory: I came away thinking "oh, it was ok, not like last year", until I had a look at them and realized that I did rather well. It is so lovely going to book sales, isn't it?

Stephanie: You and I both love to join challenges! lol finishing them is another thing......

And usually I can find books at our city library too, for sale, they have a permanent room of books for sale, but I haven't made it downtown in a few years now. I'll have to come see what you found!

Daphne: It's a once a year kind of thing! I love this fundraising sale. I'm thinking of next year helping out, which of course would give me access first to all the books *rubs hands gleefully*

John: I was really planning on completing the challenge! I'm glad everyone is so kind to say I did because I got so close.....much closer than Can Challenge 2 this year, unfortunately. However, i have a better plan for Can Challenge 3, if you're hosting another one! lol. I never give up!!

Cath: Yes, for 300 pounds, it's not a bad price for getting here for the book sale! lol But then you'd have to get the books home again! And I know you'd come away with as many as i did, if not more....

I think Swordpoint etc are all set in the same world. Fall of the Kings is set in the same world as Swordspoint, but that may be all they share. I'm not sure.....I haven't read them all yet!!

Mythopoeic challenge is forthcoming, as soon as Nymeth has time to walk me through how set up the links! Mr Linky and I are complete strangers.....I'm so happy you're going to join us! that makes four- myself, Nymeth,Rhinoa, and you :-D I'm sure we can convince Pat and a few others.....

Bybee: I didn't even know it came in hard cover! I loved his England one. I'm really hoping this one is good too. You're right, it would be fun if he went to S Korea or Japan.

Ooh! A hardcover To Kill a Mockingbird! I'll keep a look out never know what you'll find in our bookstores. I didn't even know it had come in tp size either.

Gentle Reader: thank you! I do wish i had finished the challenge, getting so close is awful!

And the book sale was awesome, so I hope any Ottawa readers will come to it next year! lol If only all you wonderful book bloggers could come too....

Kailana: I got so close to finishing it! I'm a perfecionist, so 9/10 just isn't quite all the books read. But, I had fun, and that was the main thing.

I will enjoy them! It's picking what to read first that is the challenge now! lol

jane: thank you so much!!! I will come pick it up. I'm sorry I haven't been around to see what you've been writing about N&S, because we are showing it on one of our tv channels up here again, every Tuesday night, so even though I've seen it twice in less than a month (and the ending many times), I'm watching it again! I can't decide if I like how mean she is to him, how snobby. Every time I think i don't like her, she does something and I do again! As for him, *sigh* he can do no wrong......

Rhinoa said...

I really like the look of your challenge books. A great list of reading, shame you missed out by one. I saw you recommend The Privilege of the Sword and I will add it to my list thanks.