Dec. 10th, 2008 10:14 pm
alexwearspants: (Geek Love)
Heee! It's been stinking hot here the past few days, but I (finally) remembered that I have ice packs in the freezer! No more depending only on the fan, which I love (don't leave me bb), but which at times feels like it is only moving the hot air around. Alex vs. Nature = 1 for the mad guys!

I'm especially pleased with the look of the new book I bought yesterday, which is called Graceling. It's part of my new (until now sooper sekrit) initiative, which goes like this: 1 pay, 1 book. Which means one new book a fortnight! Yessss!

Last pay's book was a YA little gem called Fireworks and Darkness by Natalie Jane Prior. It had three things going for it from the beginning; Australian author, cover boy who looks a little like Peter, and as my sister delighted in pointing out 'Daddy Issues!' Or as the blurb would put it,

"Simeon Runciman is a firework maker who used to be a dark magician; a difficult man with a dangerous past. His son, Casimir, has always known a part of the truth about him. But when Simeon's enemy, the sinister magician, Circastes, reappears in their lives intent on revenge, Casimir is caught in a web of murder, deceit and magic. Forced to fight for his own survival, Casimir must also confront the harsh truth of who his father is and what he has done, as well of the real nature of the magic that he wields."

Thoughts and Spoilers )

Coming off that does remind me. I mentioned I liked the cover of Fireworks and Darkness, and I have to admit a good cover is a great draw. My 1 Book Per Pay deal doesn't work in the way that I buy Discworld or Gaiman books, for example. It's as much to get me out of my reading rut as anything else, and so rather than shop around for the best deal or bulk buy off Amazon for the things I already know I like, I just walk into the store and wander around until I find the book that I like the look of best. This generally involves three to four steps, which are

1. Cover or title to get me picking it up

2. Blurb to see if it's the kind of story I like, and

3. If it gets that far reading the first sentence/paragraph to see how the writing and set-up pulls me in. Sometimes I flick to a middle page and see how the writing holds up there as well. If I've found more than one that suits all those criteria we then will sometimes get to

4. Ask the advice of the person I've dragged along with me.

It's wrong and unfair almost to have cover art as the first step, or even as any step, but that's why there are others to make sure (as much as possible without reading) that it's also a readable book. I've read plenty of good books with crap covers, and vice versa, and I will pick up a book whose cover doesn't look promising, but it's an immediate advantage to have a cover such as Graceling's, the cover of which is dark and striking and immediately draws the eye. Covers are, of course, a personal thing too - Fireworks and Darkness does not, I believe, have the best layout as a cover, but the fact that the cover model looks like someone I like hits a personal kink, much as b&w plus pretty girl pulls at my subconscious on Graceling. (Also for some reason oversized swords - suck on that Freud!)

So. I try not to judge a book by it's cover. But a good cover does help put you in the race to be judged.

Anyway, having finally gotten that giant post out of my system, I'm off to read my shiny new book and wait upon a call from Mother. Just to highlight the other two steps, by the way, I should tell you that Graceling's blurb is long. And while length is for the friends you've made, cuts are for the friends you want to keep. )

This has been going around the internet like whoah, but I think everyone should see it who hasn't. Because some things are so angry-making the only way to stop the frustration is to send them up.


alexwearspants: (Default)

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