Yellowed Pages. Cups of Tea.

Yellowed Pages. Cups of Tea.

In which a 4'10" anglophile and bibliophile prattles on about...what else? Books. and her obsession with tea flavours. She is a professional English horseback rider, and is rabid fan of period dramas/BBC, Golden Age Hollywood, dark chocolate, musical theatre, knitting and chess. Historical fiction first, then classics, then fantasy, vintage gothics and romance, a hefty smattering of mysteries then a large dollop of womens fiction and chick lit

My blog has a new home.

If there's anyone out there that actually reads my blog, you're welcome to come here--you don't need to be a member you can follow me by email, if you wish. I'm not leaving Booklikes--I'm leaving this up so others can find it, but I will no longer be updating it. Only Blogger and my Goodreads. I felt like I needed a change, and blogger should be a good tool in getting connected with my favourite bloggers and potentially having more viewers and followers. is the new permanent home.
Here is my Goodreads:

I will soon be posting a birthday haul, Hope to see you there!

3 Stars
Meh. Maybe next book.
A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent - Marie Brennan

I'm sorry I haven't been around. It's been a real tough month here. I'll be posting a few reviews I made on Goodreads a while ago within the next couple days. I'm sorry.

I don't know what it is about this book. I was hooked the first half, but around 60% it lost my interest and I can't put my finger on why. I'll definitely read the other two, as they are some good qualities and also due to the fact that I may or may not have gotten the third book from Netgalley... They just may be some space in between the next two books that I read other books. I wasn't entirely bored but not entirely enthralled. at least, like I said, not after a certain point.
This book could've and should've been right up my alley, but I found myself continually wanting to read other books, which is sad. I love the style of the writing as I love travel journals, I love the regency period, and I love natural history as well as fantasy. I don't care about action, so what went wrong? Honestly, I can't figure it out. I wasn't compelled to read it, and that's why it took me so long to finish it. Not terrible, not even remotely, but not something I'd pick up again. I'm sorry.

I suppose maybe I wanted more character development. More of learning who our heroine is, more romance with our leads so their relationship is more developed. Maybe I didn't like it so much because I didn't care about the people in it? I wanted a little more story.

Hopefully the other books will improve.

3.5 Stars
*sigh* Buh. A bit of a stinker.
At the Water's Edge: A Novel - Sara Gruen
Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to review this. 3 1/2 stars.

This book was fairly enjoyable, though I wished there was more depth to both the story and the characters. The only character I liked quite a bit was Angus, who I fell in love with.

I couldn't seem to feel anything but mild sympathy for anyone else besides Angus. Maddie being the second runner-up. I related to her a lot I suppose.
I wanted to slap Ellis, and Hank too, for not defending Maddie.

Like said, this was nice book to pass the time, but not something I loved, or a favourite.

I'm sorry I can't say too much about it.

Thanks so much Netgalley for allowing me this opportunity, though!
1.5 Stars
Bird with the Heart of a Mountain - Barbara Mariconda

I got this book through First Reads giveaway, and I must say it was terribly underwhelming. I felt as though the plot was rushed before we got a chance to get to know the characters. By page 20, a tragedy struck and I couldn't manage any sympathy for the family, as I wasn't attached to their characters. The premise of the book is lovely and right up my alley, but I wanted more background and detail. So much could've been done with the setting and vibrant history of the gypsies. I could see it being a thick epic, lush and detailed, like Crimson Petal and the White set during the Spanish Civil War. The writing style made me crave for more, but I enjoy intricate details, whereas others might not. Our heroine of this novel is rather annoying and again, the plot is very sporadic with no follow up or build up to any plot twists, so you're kinda left wondering "wait, what? that just happened?"

My review on Goodreads.

Merry Christmas! Big Haul! Lots of pics!

Currently listening to the Anything Goes cast CD with Patti Lupone. So obsessed with "Blow, Gabriel Blow!" OMG it's so exciting!!

I was really spoiled this year by my mom and grandmom, and was able to get an amazon gift card with cash I got, but I'm not sure what Kindle books I'll get yet! *bounces*

Family pics first. One of them is blurry, unfortunately.

My sister Beth in her lovely dress slept over Christmas Eve, and she loved the Kindle Fire I got her!

Me in a new Christmas sweater and scarf as well as boots and dark denim jeans I wore to my grandmoms dinner. By the way, she made these pastries called Napoleons--DELICIOUS. LIKE...IF I DIDN'T GET FAT, I'D EAT THEM EVERY DAY.

Left: My mom, Pop Earl, Me, Matt & Sabrina, Carter and my grandpop, behind my mom near the stairs.
Right: My grandmom and Carter on her lap, me, Matt & Sabrina, Grandpop.

Carter playing with his dumptruck on the left and little chubby girl Parker asleep in her carrier.

from bottom to top:
From my mom: Everyone Can Draw book, The Secrets of Paris by Michael Kerrigan, Tumbleweeds by Leila Meacham, Juicing Smoothies and Blended Drinks, and The Vampire Book.
From my Grandma: The World of Downton Abbey, The Complete Judy Garland, Below Stairs by Margaret Powell, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day DVD, and The Incredible Umbrella by Marvin Kaye. Also, a Van Gogh inspired Doctor Who bookmark!

I also got lotions from one of my favourite stores, Bath and Body Works: Paris Amour, Mad About You, Vanilla Bean Noel, French Lavendar Honey, and Beautiful Day. I also got a little bottle of purple nail polish.

I got some clothes as well.

A wonderful PJ set which I went ecstatic over, a t-shirt with Audrey on the front, polka dot pants and fluffy black socks. Then a lovely tan sweater which comfy blue jeggings.

Another sweater with black jeggings and a floral pullover shirt.

A lovely red shirt with black lace and birdcages, and a black and white dress for spring.

My new boots and a bunch of stocking stuffers including incense!

a vintage Mickey and Minnie popcorn tin. :D

So many goodies! I'll be 400 pounds! the milkshake I bought on my way home from the dinner, so it's empty, but what am I gonna do with all those cookies and dark chocolate??! So much for losing weight...

Why I Love My Kindle...

Currently listening: Princess by Magna Carta :)

A few months ago, if you had asked me about whether I wanted a Kindle or how I felt about ereaders, I would've went on a very long tirade. Like so many others, I was so totally wrong. You see, I was worried that I would be contributing to the "print is dead" idea and making matters worse, because though I adore my Kindladoodle (my nickname for it) nothing will replace physical books in my heart. If I suddenly stopped collecting physical books, I would be wasting my beautiful bookshelves! I'll always swap books and collect them (and bookmarks too!) I love the designs and dustjackets and the smell of paper and ink, especially old book smells. Now with my Kindle, I'll be more selective about what print books I get, saving my shelves for special books. I've only had mine for a few weeks now, and I've already warmed up to the major benefits. 1. Kindle books are so so much cheaper-in fact, I bought a novel yesterday for 99 cents. You don't have to pay for shipping and a lot of older titles are free, because they're out of copyright. Most of the stuff on my wishlists range from 99 cents to the most (upcoming) expensive Kindle books (books on my pre-order I NEED list) at 10.99 and 11.99.

I love that they have so many pretty case options for Kindles too--I got mine on Etsy.
A Kindle can hold a quite a few books, and it's weirdly exhilarating to have so many books I want so cheap and easily accessible and to be able to carry so many books with me wherever I go. I've been reading it everywhere. At breakfast, in the car...on the toilet...OK maybe not!

I think it's probably the best decision I've ever made. I've found *whispers* several sites for uhm....well, a black market for Kindle books...

I also am a member of Scribd (7.99 a month for unlimited reading AND audiobooks), which I love, it's like Netflix for ebooks, and has lots and lots of titles to rent. I did try Kindle Unlimited, but I found their selection weak and full of naked airbrushed people self-published erotica. I like good erotica after a bubblebath as much as the next person *wink* but I decided after looking at all three options selections: Scribd, Oyster and Kindle Unlimited that Scribd was better fitting of my reading tastes, and they're always adding new books, which is assuring, as there's still so many books I wanna rent. I've come to the conclusion that I shouldn't have to buy every book I want to read, especially when quite a few times I've been let down by a novel.

Well, that's my two cents. If you're considering an ereader, I want to steer you away from the latest e-ink reader, Kindle Voyage. I made that mistake before I switched it for my Kindle Fire. Not only is it in colour, but you can also take pictures on it, Skype, and apps for renting systems like, Scribd and Oyster are only available on Kindle fire and tablets and NOT available at all on regular Kindles. Kindle Fire also has an audiojack to listen to audiobooks with, which is a plus. Kindle Voyage is ok for general reading, but it's so small, and compared to the Kindle seems underwhelming after all the build up for it (I'll be using the Voyage for vacations, I think) I generally only use my Fire for random surfing  (looking up a picture of a castle mentioned in a book, or something of that sort), reading and Skype text messaging and taking random pictures, as I have no interest in playing games or watching movies on it, but it's perfect really.

If I could meet up with my past anti-Kindle self, I'd say "What are you thinking?"

Autumn Leaves and Chilly Breeze-Early Christmas Book Haul + Cat Pics + New Ideas

Listen to this as you read:You can never go wrong with Ella!

My current soundtrack(s): a mix between Ella Fitzgerald and Regina Spektors newest album {Firewood is my favourite, though it's sad}


Dear readers, I have so much to be thankful for this season, and I'm not just talking about books or my new Kindle. {GAHHH! BUT IT'S AMAZING!} or even yummy seasonal foods that I look forward to every year {my dad and I picked up 3 mini bread loaves: Pumpkln Spice, Cinnamon and Gingerbread as well as more snickerdoodle Coffeemate-we're addicted!} but I'm thankful for the dramatic wonderful changes in my life, fast and pleasant like the changing of the leaves. My sister is back in our lives after a lot of personal struggle and estrangement, and next week I'm to spend Thanksgiving with both of my parents, which is nice as they're separated. {yes, I will post a blogful of pictures of my holiday meal!}

My only regret is that I don't think I'll be able to get Bryce here this Christmas, but there's always my birthday in June. I'm just so happy everything is coming together in my life and the worries of last year have all faded away like the sunshine this season.

I wanted to tell you about a Youtube project I'm starting to work on, after the idea sparked this week. I'm going to do multi-part montages of singers, actresses, dancers and musicians from the twenties silent era to the seventies, starting with females. I'll also do a male version, a Broadway specific version (male and female too, but from thirties to present)
I've started the first female part for screen, radio and record and the first person I will show is my favourite Judy Garland, but the rest will be secret for now. My Youtube username is Hannah Lynn Phillips, if you want to subscribe or check them out. I want it to be as extensive and international as possible, so feel free to drop me names {Remember, 20s-70s female drama/musical actresses, recording artists, performers, dancers etc. No general celebs like Eleanor Roosevelt or Amelia Earhart}

Things I'm excited for upcoming in 2014 and 2015: INTO THE WOODS MOVIE COMING OUT CHRISTMAS DAY NEXT MONTH OMG MY FAV MUSICAL!, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell BBC miniseries possibly premièring the end of the this year/beginning of next, new Cinderella movie in 2015, the last hobbit movie, the new Night at the Museum movie, biopic of JMW Turners life starring Timothy Spall, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel coming out March 2015, A Little Chaos starring Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman coming out March 2015, Child 44 coming out April 2015, The Age of Adaline coming out April 2015, WWI drama Testament of Youth coming out in teh Uk Jan. 16th 2015, Strange Magic an animated musical coming out Jan. 23rd 2014 (Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, and kristen Chenoweth OMG).

Also, I've become obsessed with Downton BADLY. Now that I've seen the full seasons online up until the most recent fifth season episode, I'm desperately waiting for the 2014 Christmas Special to come out in the Uk and be posted on the website where I watch them. Gah. WITHDRAWL. Due to that, I've got some Downton Abbey-esque books.

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher {a book I've gotten for my December wintry reads list} Summer and Bird, The Captains Daughter by Leah Fleming {set during the Titanic}, The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin {first book I got to deal with my Downton Abbey withdrawal} Mrs. Queen Takes The Train by William Kuhn, Grand Central: Original Stories of of Postwar {WWII} Love and Reuinion, and The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart.

(bottom to top then sides) First book in the Dido Kent mystery series Belfield Hall by Anna Dean, The Book Of Summers by Emylia Hall, Major Pettigrews Last Stand by Helen Simonson, The Italian Garden by Judith Lennox, The Downstairs Maid by Rosie Clarke and The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn {2nd and 3rd books for Downton Abbey withdrawal} C'est La Folie by Michael Wight, The Summer House by Mary Nichols, Mr. Rosenblum's List by Natasha Solomons and An Important Family by Dorothy Eden.

(bottom to top) second book in the Dido Kent mystery series, A Gentleman of Fortune by Anna Dean, more books for my Downton Abbey withdrawl, a trilogy by Jane Sanderson. 1. Netherwood 2. Ravenscliffe 3. Eden Falls. The Broken Gate, the first in a trilogy set in early 1900s by Anita Burgh, Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart and a vintage, Royal Mistress by Patricia Campbell Horton. Might be a delightful bodice ripper.

Last but never least: presents from my mom, Knitting for Dummies and a book of yummy looking smoothie recipes, as that's my thing now, Dreamers Pool bu Juliet Marillier, Ravenburn by Laura Black, a vintage gothic romance with a bookish heroine and my favourite type of hero, a beta. China Shadow by Clarissa Ross, King Of Morning, Queen of Day, an Edwardian fantasy by Ian McDonald, and books six and seven in the Jane Austen mystery series by Stephanie Barron.

My pretty Kindle case with my shiny new Kindle inside. Autumn wallpaper comes from my favourite bloggers website under "Free Stuff"

Susan Branch's beautiful blog.









Peaches photobombing, as usual.




Herbie photobombing my picture taking.. I can tell this is my cat, because he LOVES the smell of books. No, really!

I'll keep you guys informed about my projects when they're finished.

5 Stars
Hannah and the Dusty Stars
Hannah and the Dusty Stars - Grandreams Limited
Perhaps I should explain why at 21, I'm reviewing an obscure board book. I must warn you, this story will be painful..
You see, I have a shelf here on Goodreads that I've recently created called "books I would've read as a girl" That's a shelf for all the books for girls/children, that, knowing the type of girl I was back then {and my interests haven't changed much} that I would've picked up eagerly. They're either books from my generation that I've heard others speak about with nostalgia or books of the 21st century that I would've liked if I was a child now. I guess you could say if I read those books now that reading them wouldn't be the same as reading them through a childs eyes, but reading them makes me nostalgic for the childhood I imagine I could've had and never did.

I don't want to be a debby downer, and I'm certainly not trying to make anyone feel bad for me, but this book is more special than you can understand to me, and I want to tell you the story behind it.

As a little girl I had a very violent, isolated and painful childhood which resulted in some trauma on my end. Now, looking back at myself, I always knew I was a bookworm, though this is the only book I ever picked up until I was out of my situation at fifteen. I loved words and I gobbled them up when I had the chance, even though in the conditions I lived in it was near impossible to find things to read, and when I did, they were quickly taken away. I never went to school in what you would say is the normal way, so I was never exposed to reading as most of you are as children. I lost my biological mother when I was very very young, and let's just say..the wrong people "raised" me.

You may be wondering how I came across this book. Well, before my mother passed {and she was with me until I was 1 1/2-2} I was given this book as a gift from my grandmother on my first birthday, just a few months before her passing, along with my grandmothers. Several years later, when I was about 8, I in tears in the room I was kept in, making up stories in my head and making shadow puppets when I saw something sticking out from behind a moldy box. This book.

The second I opened it I swear I could remember my mothers voice reading it to me on her lap, although I was a toddler. It made me weep, but it gave me comfort in those harsh times when I thought I would be with her, and sometimes I had wished I could be, to escape all that pain.

I was taken to a much better place {although far too late} but I still have my mothers copy of this book in my nightstand drawer and I open it when I miss my mother--sometimes I get very sad, thinking of her and all the things I missed. The semi-normal happy childhood with hugs and birthdays and someone to read to me every night..and other times I'm happy because I know my mother would be proud of how far I've come and how much stronger I'm getting, though I still struggle to keep the shadows at bay. I know I'll always love her and I will never ever get rid of this book. I'm sure she loves me too.

I read it again tonight after dinner.
5 Stars
Virago Modern Classics Marathon #1: My FIRST Virago. Le Sigh.
All Passion Spent - Vita Sackville-West

I couldn't resist starting my Virago Modern Classics marathon before I finished Inkdeath---sorry Cornelia Funke. I've accumulated quite a few VMCs, so I figured it was time for a marathon. first Virago. How perfect it be this...
This is a novel of independence, femininity, self-satisfaction, {in the best of ways} what living really means, but also of masks and facades and when to tear them off. Lady Slane is a woman after years of being in the public eye and basically babied and severely underestimated by her selfish children, whom are all almost as old as her, mind you, peels away her suit of gentle obedience and boldly faces the world, wanting to live freely and finally make herself happy. She decides, after all this time, to let herself have what she wants and live a life of peace and quiet, rather than letting it be chosen for her. Better late than never, I'd say. She is very admirable in this way, and I'd like to think that there's a lot of her in all of us, some of us more afraid to jump into the ocean of life like Lady Slane. Even if you knew you didn't have much time left, but you had the means to live out even your simplest dreams {mine being retiring in a cottage with lots of gardens and lands and a dapple grey to ride everyday--I suppose that's why I related to this story} would you do it? I should hope that we would. Because even men, when they're trapped in a conformist or unhappy lifestyle have this yearning---of course in Lady Slanes period, it was much more difficult and questioned by her peers for a woman to claim independence, especially on their own. Sure, it may be easier now--and while I believe in gender equality; who's to say much has changed? A woman who ants to become independent is still questioned, perhaps for different reasons.
Even at the beginning of the novel, I could tell Slane's children were fake--through their characters I could practically see the dollar signs in their eyes. I won't even mention when they sorted through her late husbands jewels, as you can imagine how that went. It's sad to think about what age and circumstance can do to you: we recount a memory of Henry, Slane and their children rollicking through the house, then as their father became more succuessful, they had become selfish and uncaring, leaving their father to wonder if he even cared for them. It seems that the children's have been passed down their fathers ruthlessness and coldness, never expressing genuine feeling and only doing things for their own gain. Lady Slane is the complete opposite, stuck in the middle of money hungry monkeys and used for their benefit.
At the final pages, I felt a pang of regret for Lady Slane, a woman who had to give up her dreams because other people stifled them and she had no other options. I wanted to will her to carry on and paint at least one landscape before she left us, but she left in peace and had people around her that truly cared for her as never before. The ending really affected me, showing the differences between human hearts, particularly those of Lady Slanes daughter Carrie and Lady Slanes closest friends, her landlord and carpenter. I adored almost all the characters and enjoyed this novel thoroughly. It is a thoughtful novel full of real people and not so honest people and lots of "what ifs". This is a Virago you will not want to pass up. Perfect reading with a cup of chamomille on a sunny fall day.

3.5 Stars
So...well...that was ok...
Inkspell - Cornelia Funke, Anthea Bell


-read more-
Yet ANOTHER Haul! Flea Market Books and Goodies!

I made an exciting adventure to a flea market in New Castle DE today and while there were not many book tables, they had really good deals, so I did get some random stuff just for the heck of it. Cuz...books. Also found some other neat things. Altogether I think I only spent 70-80 dollars on the whole lot. There was another table of books, but the lady wanted like...30 dollars a hardback and 10 dollars and paperback--they were good looking books too....but I was

The first book I picked up is a beat up hardback about horse racing, as I wanted to be a female jockey when I was little, before moving to English riding. Then I picked up the second because of the lovely cover, a book about a mans adventures in the south of France.

Now I have yet another Pilcher in my collection, being the third, and from what i can gather, it's set in the 30s and 40s, during WWII. I like the cover. The second is a little vintage childrens book that caught my eye, a hardback with black and white illustrations.

These two books are definitely me, the first being a little book of glossy photographs of The Longwood Gardens, and then a small guidebook to the birds of Eastern North America, a hardback.

Then I found a vintage collection of short stories by Hemingway and a very large maritime saga set in 1896. Should be interesting. {I also saw someone with a pug near the table where I got these books. So ugly, yet so cute.}

Two mysteries, one by an author who I'm a pretty big fan of. I'm mad I couldn't procure the first William Monk novel, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to read "Slaves Of Obsession" until I do. I have read a few of Perry's Thomas and Pitt novels {1, 2, 3, and 4, I think}, but not any of her William monk. "Dying For Mercy" sounded interesting from the inner flap. We'll see how it goes.
These last books came from a place in a store on the inside building part of the flea market, which is lined with stores--it's the only book place in the whole building and called Between The Pages--it should really be called Between The Sheets, as it consists of nothing but romance novels--mostly smut and books with half naked guys dipping silk clothed damsels, but I was surprised this time to find it well stocked with historical romances, my favourite and my dessert as far as books girlish indulgence. I was in a hurry as my mom was sweating to death, so I snatched up "The Fountain" without even looking at it, but I'll give it a shot. The others besides "End Me A Tenor" I found through scouring the book laden shelves for authors names that were familiar or were mentioned in the Historical Romances Goodreads group. Both are Regency, I believe, though I maybe wrong. "End Me a Tenor" just looked like a light fun read.

Now onto the non-book stuff... :)
I bought these two DVDs out of nostalgia and love.

Then I found a lovely blouse with purple feathers and blue...what I'm assuming is waves, and a floral dress that looks just about my size. Also, a little pair of strawberry earrings! :P

Lastly, and what I love most of all besides the books, is this darling figurine which is also a spinning music box.  The poor gentleman lost part of an arm, but my fathers trusty glue-gun will turn him alright again, I'm sure. I shall have to think of names for them..

I think this may be the last of my hauls for a while, unless temptation sneaks up and points me in the direction of an nearby secondhand bookshop---the older stuff always lures me and I'm still waiting till I find a Virago Modern Classic at any thrift store/flea market/etc-this doesn't seem to happen in America, but I heard the UK peoples are lucky. For now, I will read what I have unread on my shelves. I had a really great day and also got a delicious strawberry banana smoothie and got to be outside in the sun, though I appreciated it much more than my mom did...On a side note, I convinced my mom to get some Danielle Steel books for herself, as she's her favourite. I may just turn my mom back to reading yet...

A Small but Wonderful Virago Haul...Thank you Romain!

From the wonderfulness and generosity that is the LibraryThing Virago Modern Classics group, I recieved seven books in total: 3 original green, 2 Newer Italic Green, 1 Modern Cover and 1 Non-Virago by a virago author.  So many book hauls this summer! I am a happy camper.

My two semi-modern italic greens, with lovely floral covers by authors that I'm very excited to read for the first time.


Three original green Viragos, all of high interest! *claps* Added them to my Virago Marathon Reading List, once I'm finished Inkspell, Inkdeath, and Strump. Just to take a break from fantasy.

And finally, another Elizabeth Taylor in a modern style cover and a non-Virago by a Virago author. Lots of tea and reading and reviews to come!


So, a week or so ago, I went out thrift shopping with my mother and found a load of great stuff--mostly fiction. And then, some time after, my dad and I found this place called Ollies, which sells bargain books. A lot of YA titles, but I did find some interesting ones.

Oh my GOSH!
When I found Sorcery and Cecilia, I literally front of the middle of the shop. Don't judge me. WSS was just stuck in between two random books at Ollies, and it looked so lonely, I felt the need to take it home. It may be just a summarizing of the story which everyone knows and I love, but I'm hoping I enjoy it anyway.

I found the second Temeraire series book--I do own the first but have not yet read it, but I found this and I just could not pass it up--now I'll be able to read both of them together. Beauty by Robin McKinley had been sitting on my PBS wishlist for quite a while and it was offered up to me when I actually had a credit, unlike usual, where I have to turn down dozens of wishlist books because I'm lacking in creditz. Woe is me. It's a retelling of Beauty and The Beast, one of my favourite fairytales.

Two classics that I have never read--how exciting. Just your average paperbacks, but I'm happy I can read them now. I've always loved anything to do with sailing--maritime is one of favourite genres and yet I have so much in that area to read--The Aubrey/Martin series, Moby Dick, and the Hornblower saga, among others. I love this cover and I've been told it's a very good book, and I'm an addict for the classics.
As much as I dislike this "looks like a Halloween costume" cover, I've heard mixed things about The Scarlet Letter and it sounds like a good book.

I found two Puffin classics at Ollies: Kim by Rudyard Kipling, the same guy who wrote The Jungle Books, which I have also not read. {On a side note, imagine that little black and white face peeking out at you from behind little red leather books--wouldn't you pick him up?} I also found The Phoenix and The Carpet by E. Nesbit, who I only just found out was EDITH Nesbit. *facepalm* Forgetting that stupidity, I am happy to report that the book that comes before Phoenix is also available as a Puffin Classic- Five Children and It, which has now gone on my Wishlist. Very excited for these. {I fear I say that about almost every book, get used to it}.

Yet another classic I have yet to read, I found this little red hardback right in front of Kim at Ollies--there were a bunch to collect, including Jane Eyre, Little Women, a lot of Dickens and The Woman In White, all of which I already own. A nice little copy with a ribbon bookmark, my only complaint is that the illustrations are extremely blurry--I assume because of that that this is a scanned copy. At least I can read it now. Then I found a Readers Digest Select Editions {no, I don't collect these, because what's the fun in only having parts of novels?} that includes: Letter From Home by Carolyn Hart, PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern, The Promise of A Lie by Howard Roughan, and the reason I got this in the first place, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon. I've heard many things about "Curious Incident.." and I've been well....curious to read it. :P There's interesting mini-bios, afterwords and interviews after each chunk of their novels, giving insight into the author and the story, which is nice.

I won "Songs For Ophelia" on Goodreads giveaway, and it was sent signed by Theodora herself. She also sent me a sweet card with a bird on it, thanking me. It's a small collection of fantasy poetry by her, and from I've read so far, they're lovely.
I've been dying to read the Gormenghast Trilogy for a while, on recommendation of many many people. Thank you so much to a LibraryThing member from my Virago Modern Classics group from sending this to me all the way from the UK! Another plus is that the actor from the mini-series, Jonathan Rhys Meyers is on the cover, and while it's a moderately evil face, it's still a hot face. :P

A modern cover of a Virago Modern Classic sent to me from a member of the VMC group on LibraryThing. =D
The Elric Saga, I believe, is a series of six books. The one I found at the thrift store is an omnibus edition of the first three {what a great cover!} and I know there's a second omnibus just as beautiful of the last three, I just need to find it {if I like it, that is.} High fantasy is more in my taste, so I should enjoy it.

Attracted by the lovely cover, I found A Country Life at the first thrift store I visited. It's a collection of insights and memories of Roy Strongs time in the English country with his wife. It severely piqued by interest, so I snatched it up like the book gobbler I am. In a similar vein, and for the same "loved the cover" reasons {being an Anglophile helps a lot, too} I found "My Love Affair With England" by Susan Allen Toth, a travelers memoirs about her time there. This will be the perfect book with a cup of camomile and some biscuits--the British meaning of biscuits that is.

Sons of Moriarty is the first thing I spotted at Ollies, being the Holmesian I am. It is yet another collection of further adventures of Holmes, edited by Loren D. Estleman. It includes Anne Perry, Adrian Conan Doyle and the man himself, among others. It is authorized by the Doyle estate, which gives me hope that they are well selected stories.
Speaking of mysteries, I found a book that has long been in my TBR pile {or mountain, rather} and a sentence of the inner flap made me pick it up " "To Auriel, I will give the gift of gold..." So begins the letter that young Ned Warriner possesses, stuffed inside the pages of a leather bound book" Enough said. It's set is 1609.

I was so happy to find I Never Promised You A Rose Garden! The cover is amazing and I've been told to read it over and over again by almost everyone I've met, as they said I could relate to it. It's the story of a mentally ill girl who creates a fantasy world inside her head, refusing to come to terms with reality, and the doctor who helps her. A vintage copy, I found it right beside Indian In The Cupboard, {also a nice cover} a children's classic I have never read. It should be a short sweet read.
I found these two together, as if they were meant for my shelf. Secondary to Regency and Victorian Eras, I love anything arthurian, medieval or renaissance themed. I've heard that Sharon key Penman is the queen of writing historical fiction in this period, so when I saw this I decided that it would be my first by her. I hope that it lives to the promise of the epic cover. Gilt, with its beautifully embossed cover, is a YA novel of love and betrayal during the times of Henry VIIII. {Can you expect anything else in that court?} From what I've seen on Goodreads, it has reasonably low ratings, but I'll give it go anyway.
These two I only picked up for the covers, and I'm very unsure about. The first being what I'm guessing is a mystery in 1950s New Orleans and the second being a post-apocalyptic fantasy about a demon girl that's got archangels and stuff? *shrugs* I won't be reading these for some time, as I'm starting my Virago Modern Classics marathon soon, but I'll definitely give them a chance.

Another YA. From the gist of the inner flap, I'm hoping that it's a historical fantasy about a girl who's a witch. The cover reminds me of Ophelia from Hamlet. {Here's to hoping she doesn't meet the same fate!} It's the first in a series. The Blood Of Flowers is a historical fiction novel about a girl who weaves carpets in 17th century Persia. I hope it's wonderful.

And lastly, my two books from PBS. Lady's Maid is a historical fiction novel about the fictional maid of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and Robert Browning, the famous Victorian poet lovers. I'm ecstatic to read this as well as A Good Woman, a novel set in 1912, about a woman's experiences with the Titanic sinking, love and the First World War. These books are totally me.

5 Stars
The City of Dreaming Books - Walter Moers, John Brownjohn

The moment I opened this book (and yes I know I say this a lot) I knew that I would love this book from the first page.

My dear readers, did you, like me, never want this book to end? I wanted it to be longer. I savored it, took my time...but at the same time, I was reading pages whenever I had the chance. Literally in the bathroom, during dinner--I'd read into the night until my eyes got sore and even then, the book nagged at me from my bedside tables in my dreams. "Read me, read me!" it cried until I would give in, light a candle and become a night owl once more.

You may ask, what would compel me to do such a thing? Let me fangasm for a moment, if you please. *OMGZZZ THIS BOOK IS SO AWESOME LIKE YEAHHHH I JUST WANT TO LIVE IN IT FOREVER AND EVER AND EVERRRR!" Ok. Now that that's out of my system, let me give my explanation as to why this kooky book is so very wonderful.

Moers writing is so detailed and creative that he invokes emotions, senses. When Optimus Yarnspinner entered Bookholm for the first time, I was in awe. I could smell, at least in my imagination, a place I've only dreamed of: a place dedicated to BOOKS. I smelt leather and paper and ink...As a bibliophile, you can imagine how happy this made me--this book was written for people like me in my mind. I've always loved books about books, but this takes everything and blows it out of the water. Even Inkheart.
A part of me ached because Bookholm doesn't and will never exist, except on a page, and another part was telling myself that I could visit this book time and time again and be enraptured.

This is how I imagine I'd react in Bookholm:

I'm having a hard time figuring out how to get across my feelings about this book. I love all the small details and the world building, all the quirky anagrams which were fun to figure out in my head, and the interesting Zamonian book titles, the creatures and the food. I felt like I was in the tavern with Optimus, wincing as he accidentally got a bad sting from Beebread. {watch out for that by the way!} The Poets Ringlet sounds most delicious to me or the book shaped pastry with apple filling and pistachios. I loved all the footnotes and the backstories of Zamonian history, or even Optimus's little asides about a memory and such. I think one of my favorite parts was when I read about Regenschein and his adventures in the catacombs. I swear that in reading that passage, I could hear The Shadow Kings rustling papers behind me, his ink breath on the back of my neck. Another part I enjoyed was towards the end, about the history behind Zamonian horror literature. (pgs. 318-322 in my edition) There are so many passages that I want to memorize, just for the sheer delight. There were so many that felt special to me, but especially this one on pg. 81 of my edition: "Books, books, books, books. Old books, new books, expensive books, cheap books, books in shop windows or bookcases, in sacks or on handcarts, in random heaps or neatly arrayed behind glass. Books in precarious tottering piles, book parcelled up with string ("Try your luck --- buy your surprise package!), books displayed on marble pillars or locked away behind grilles in dark wooden cabinets ('Signed first editions--don't touch!). Books bound in leather and linen, hide or silk, books with clasps of copper or iron, silver or gold--even in one or two shop windows, books studded all over with diamonds." My bibliophilic brain went dizzy with the images I conjured up in my owlie head.

The illustrations make the book come even more alive and the writing is wonderful, have I mentioned that? There was never a point where I wanted to stop or I felt it slowed down, I felt as if every word was placed perfectly in the story--beautiful sentences complimented each other in wit and vivid imagery. and god help anyone who interrupted me. I was irritated whenever my stomach growled or I had to use the bathroom. I wanted to yell at my body and say "Can't you see I'm trying to read!?"

This is a fun charming and gorgeous read for bookish adults who still dream of mountains of old books in a far off fantasy land. I was obsessed with this book to the point where I would be at the edge of armchair, going through a range of emotions just as how most people did reading the manuscript given to Optimus. I giggled with sheer happiness at all the passages describing ancient book lore and the shops, and the stories of the catacombs--I laughed at a lot of things--I bit my lip and nail in fear for Optimus's safety, and shed a tear when it was done, considering picking it up again because I felt as if I had just lost something. I can't say exactly what, but I knew I'd miss the whimsy and the adventure. I had an Oz moment and I wanted to turn to the Booklings and say: "I'll miss you most of all!" The ending with the Booklings made me tear up a little, I must say.

Even though I'll miss this book and I certainly never wanted to stop and start other books, I'm glad I have finished such a wonderful story. Many other stories are waiting on my shelves for me, so this one will be put up in a place all its own and rest for a good while--but I know like a good old friend, it will always be there to welcome me back into its pages.

PS--Beware of Hazardous Books and Animatomes! (or the hybrids)

4.5 Stars
If Henry James made babies with Mervyn Peake...
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke

This will not be the intellectual review that I wish it was.

I really thoroughly enjoyed this book. Susanna Clarke writes with the same wit and detail that I would expect from Jane Austen and the others, and to me, this is as if Jane herself picked up a pen in some alternate universe and sent a jolt to Susanna, Jane's voice echoing in her head "You must write this." She's created a world that I could imagine was real at one point, that never seemed implausible or too "out there" I love her..what's the word I'm looking for..Victorian style. She clenches that in her hand and never falters, not even once. Her characters are so vivid, some more likable than others certainly, but still wonderfully written characters that I actually took interest in. I became immersed in her world, and everything in it that sometimes I could feel a corset pressing my belly or a silken glove on my hand as I mingled with Mrs. Godesdone's acquaintances, or I could hear the whispers of the statues as Mr. Norrell had them under his magic in my sleep. I know a lot people said the footnotes slowed them down, but they only furthered my enjoyment. I felt, when reading those, that I was getting only deeper into her world with the "history" she wrote behind it.

I definite recommended read to anyone who loves magic, and the Regency Era.

5 Stars
A splendid feast for the bibliophile in all of us!
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafón

After the first few pages, I already knew this was going to be one of my favorite books. I especially fell in love after the description of Barceló's eccentricities, and all the literary references. Safons narrative and descriptive writing is rightfully compared with Dickens, vivid and maybe, if I dare say, a tad more exciting than Dickens.

I disagree with some of the commenters that the mystery was easy to figure out from the middle, or maybe I'm just not as quick witted as others--it kept me questioning.

There was a point in the book where it went into the history of an old house, and explained a ghastly murder so...what's the word I'm looking for? Accurately? That I got this tingle up the back of my neck as I read the paragraph a few times over, and my eyes pricked with frightful tears. There was twice that I almost cried with sadness, once at the end after the discovery that Carax made in the basement about Penelope, and after a certain accident with a fire. I was gripping the book, fingers trembling, saying "Oh no..." in my head.

I became enamored with the characters, even the evil ones. They all had pasts that I felt for, but that certainly doesn't mean they were all justified in their actions. The many passages about choices and regrets and passed opportunities and loss gathered a lump in my throat, especially a many passages towards the end, including the fate of Penelope, the fate of her maid Jacinta after a visit from Carax, and the passages with Nuria's father...but to be honest, the part that nearly broke my heart was the fate of dear, dear Miquel...I did feel for him so.

Don't misunderstand, though. Many scenes are very very funny, especially with Fermin, who I've added to my list of favorite literary characters.

Truly a wonderful atmospheric book---be prepared to get lost in it, and watch the pages gather in your left hand as the hours fly. Expect laundry to pile up and for that cup of tea/coffee/cocoa to accidentally get cold on your bedside table. A novel of love, gothic mansions, and subplots, among other things. If any of this strikes your fancy, don't resist that bargain copy on abebooks.