Friday, October 19, 2018

The Friday Face-Off: A Horror Cover

Friday Face Off New
Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join us every Friday as we pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.

I felt that it was time to join in another Friday Face-Off, so here we go!

This week's topic is:
“If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!” – A horror cover

I read Bird Box last year and loved it, so I figured that it would be a great choice for this week's topic. I was pleasantly surprised at how many different covers there are for this book, and even more pleasantly surprised at how many I like. And it reminds me that I need another great horror book to read...

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box Bird Box Der Fluss

US Ecco 2014 HC || US Ecco 2015 PB || German

Bird Box ÐšÑƒÑ‚ия за птици Ú©Ø§Ø¨ÙˆÚ©

Harper Voyager 2015|| Bulgarian|| Persian

Птичий короб à¸¡à¸­à¸‡à¸­à¸¢à¹ˆà¸²à¹ƒà¸«à¹‰à¹€à¸«à¹‡à¸™ Bird Box

Russian || Thai || 2018 HC Special Edition

My choice:

Bird BoxBird BoxBird BoxПтичий короб

This was a really hard choice because I really like a lot of these! I like the original US one because it's simple, but still has some detail. The US paperback is nice, but I don't totally get the phone. The special edition has awesome imagery, and the Russian one is most accurate and pretty haunting (but does it give too much?) Suffice to say, these are all some great covers!

(10/20 edit: Apologies if you notice a comment you made has been deleted--Blogger went a little nuts and a couple got deleted, so I'm sincerely sorry about that!)

Which covers do you like best?

Buy it! Amazon Book Depository

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

TBR Thursday + Currently Reading

TBR Thursdays is hosted by Kim @ Kimberly Faye Reads! This feature was created with the intent of spotlighting a title from your shelf that you planning on reading in order to discuss why you want to read it, as well to discuss the book with others! If you'd like to join, feel free to use the banner created by Kimberley (or your own), and stop by her page to participate.

Currently Reading:

The Haunting of Hill House Well of Witches (The Thickety, #3)The NarrowsIn the Night Wood
(I just realized how aesthetically pleasing all of these titles look next to each other... orange-ish, then tan-ish woods, then orange, then woods...that's satisfying)

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: I'll probably have finished this by the time this post goes up, but I am loving it so far. I've been meaning to read it for years, but I always wanted to wait until the fall/winter time of year and then I would forget... and now I can't believe I never got to it sooner because it really is brilliant. I can't wait to find out how it ends:

Well of Witches by J.A. White (Thickety #3): I read one book from this series every October for my nighttime read--it's a bit of a tradition now even though that means I go through this series really slowly, I love doing it. The Thickey is a spooky middle grade series that I am endlessly impressed and surprised by and I cannot recommend them enough.

The Narrows by Travis Riddle: This is a review request book that I've just started and so far seems really promising! I already am enjoying his characters and I love this cover and decided to juts dive into this one because it sounded like a good one to read around this time of year. I previously read and really enjoyed Travis Riddle's Balam, Spring, so I'm excited to read more from him. 

In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey: Another book specifically for review (from Edelweiss). I've also just started this one, but I'm thinking I might put it on hold while I finish up The Narrows since they are both Kindle books. I'm excited to get back to it, though!

TBR Options:

I'm a bit of a mood reader so I'm not entirely which books of these I might get to in the next few weeks or if I'll add random ones in, but here are a few of the titles I'm considering. As you can see, there's a bit of a variety among the types of books here, but that's because I've been in a weird reading slump-ish/mood where I just can't figure out what I want to read. There are some books that I really want to read, but I don't want to read them until I'm in a better headspace--does that make sense? Regardless, here are a few of the options!

Small SpacesAlice (The Chronicles of Alice, #1)Once Upon a RiverRed MoonThe Sisters of the Winter WoodNightingale

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden: This sounds like a perfect Halloween read! It's also a middle grade book and it's by the same author as the Bear and the Nightingale books, so I have high hopes for it to be an entertaining read.

The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner: I might wait until after October to read this one, but I've already been waiting so long that I just want to read it now. 

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield: This book sounds so magical and interesting, plus I've been wondering when Diane Setterfield would write another book--and here it is! 

Alice by Christina Henry: I'm definitely reading this one before the end of the year--it's probably one of my most anticipated books on this makeshift TBR.

Nightingale by Amy Lukavics: Another spooky book I'd like to read! I thought about requesting this from NetGalley earlier in the year, but I knew I'd prefer it in physical form so I waited until it came in at my library, and now it's here!

Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson: This is oddly looking like the one I might actually pick up next, but honestly, who knows? I love a locked room-style murder and I also love a good book in space, so... win-win?

Any books you think I should read (on or off this list)!? Have you read any of these? What books are on your TBR? Let me know!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Blog Tour: WEST by Edith Pattou + Review + Giveaway

I am so excited to be able to be part of this blog tour for West, the long-anticipated sequel to East, which came out back in 2005! I read the first book when I was a young girl, so I am thrilled to see the story continuing and that a new generation can explore these books for the first time as well. I have a review to share and a giveaway to share at the bottom as well!

About The Book:
Title: WEST (East #2)
Author: Edith Pattou
Pub. Date: October 23, 2018
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 528
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Book Depository
*Please note that some of the links used are affiliate links!

In the sequel to the beloved high fantasy East, Rose sets off on a perilous journey to find her true love when he goes missing in a thrilling tale of danger, magic, adventure, and revenge. 

When Rose first met Charles, he was trapped in the form of a white bear. To rescue him, Rose traveled to the land that lay east of the sun and west of the moon to defeat the evil Troll Queen. Now Rose has found her happily-ever-after with Charles—until a sudden storm destroys his ship and he is presumed dead. But Rose doesn’t believe the shipwreck was an act of nature, nor does she believe Charles is truly dead. Something much more sinister is at work. With mysterious and unstoppable forces threatening the lives of the people she loves, Rose must once again set off on a perilous journey. And this time, the fate of the entire world is at stake.

As I mentioned, East came out way back in the day (okay, I'm exaggerating a little, but it's been a while!), and I read this only a couple years after its release when I was still a young girl. I fell in love with the magical quality of the world and the writing and knew I had to re-read it before diving into the long-awaited sequel (which I didn't know what going to be a thing!), West.

East is an imaginative retelling of the fairy tale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," and is told with alternating viewpoints that allow the reader to experience the story from many different perspectives, including the polar bear himself. Because of how much I fell in love with all those characters, it was such a wonderful feeling to dive back into this magical world and the wonderful writing of Edith Pattou in West.

The sequel picks up some time after East and Charles is presumed dead after a horrible shipwreck--Rose, however, does not believe that he could truly be dead. Thus begins yet another adventure that takes readers on an unexpected journey that is hard to turn away from.

Just as in East, there are multiple perspectives that we once again get to explore. The POVs jump around quite a bit so the reader is always kept on their toes, which only seemed to heighten the excitement of the story. This is a large book, clocking in at just over five hundred pages, so it does take some patience to sit with the story and let it all play out, but every page is beautifully written and full of plot twists and adventure.

What I loved most about this book was how well Pattou mixed adventure, fairy tale, and legend into one exciting and engaging story. Rose is a fantastic protagonist and a great example of continuous resilience and a determination to never give up. There are a lot of hurdles thrown her way, both from her experiences in East and now those in West, which makes her an admirable figure to watch as she handles everything in her life.

I don't want to go into too much detail regarding the plot details of West so as to avoid any spoilers for those who are new to these books and have yet to read East, so suffice to say that this is a fantastic sequel full of everything I'd hoped and more. Overall, I've given West 4.5 stars!

About Edith:

Edith Pattou is the author of Ghosting, a contemporary novel for young adults, told in free verse. She also wrote three award-winning fantasy novels for young adults – East, a retelling of the Norwegian folk tale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," and the two Songs of Eirren, Hero’s Song and Fire Arrow. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling picture book, Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden.

She was born in Evanston, Illinois, grew up in Winnetka, and was a teenager in the city of Chicago where she attended Francis W. Parker School. She completed her B.A. at Scripps College in Claremont, California where she won the Crombie Allen Award for creative writing. She later completed a Masters degree in English Literature at Claremont Graduate School, followed by a Masters of Library and Information Science at UCLA.

She has worked for a medical association, a clothing boutique, a recording studio, the Playboy Foundation, a public television station, a school library, two public libraries, two advertising agencies, and two bookstores.

She has lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Durham, NC, Cambridge, England, Stockholm, Sweden, and currently resides with her husband, Charles, in Columbus, Ohio.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

About EAST (Book #1)

Title: East
Author: Edith Pattou
Pub. Date: May 1, 2005
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 507
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Book Depository
*Please note that some of the links used are affiliate links!

Rose has always been different. 

Since the day she was born, it was clear she had a special fate. Her superstitious mother keeps the unusual circumstances of Rose's birth a secret, hoping to prevent her adventurous daughter from leaving home... but she can't suppress Rose's true nature forever. 

So when an enormous white bear shows up one cold autumn evening and asks teenage Rose to come away with it--in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family--she readily agrees. 

Rose travels on the bear's broad back to a distant and empty castle, where she is nightly joined by a mysterious stranger. In discovering his identity, she loses her heart-- and finds her purpose--and realizes her journey has only just begun.

Three winners will receive a finished copy of WEST, US only!

Rafflecopter Link:

Tour Schedule: 
Week One: 
10/15/2018- Rhythmicbooktrovert- Review 
10/16/2018- A Backwards Story- Interview 
10/17/2018- Forever Lost in Literature- Review 
10/18/2018- Mythical Books- Excerpt 
10/19/2018- Patriotic Bookaholic- Excerpt 

Week Two: 
10/22/2018- Read. Eat. Love.- Review 
10/23/2018- Dani Reviews Things- Excerpt 
10/24/2018- Adventures and Reading- Review 
10/25/2018- BookHounds YA- Interview 10/26/2018- Jena Brown Writes- Review 

Week Three: 
10/29/2018- Ace Reads- Excerpt 
10/30/2018- Novel Novice- Excerpt 
10/31/2018- All the Ups and Downs- Excerpt 
11/1/2018- Rockin' Book Reviews- Review 
11/2/2018- Paws and Paperbacks- Review 

Week Four: 
11/5/2018- Smada's Book Smack- Review 
11/6/2018- if the book will be too difficult- Excerpt 
11/7/2018- Vesper Dreams- Excerpt 
11/8/2018- Oh Hey! Books.- Review 
11/9/2018- Two Chicks on Books- Excerpt

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Bookstores & Libraries I'd Love to Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blog meme now hosted by Jana over at The Artsy Reader Girl!

This week's topic is: (Fictional) Bookstores & Libraries I'd Love to Visit

The original topic was actual libraries/bookstores that we'd love to visit in real life, but there are so many that I want to visit and I've thought of making other posts for those, so I decided to just have some fun and talk about fiction libraries/bookstores that I would do anything to visit. These are listed in no particular order. Let me know what fictional bookstores you would love to visit!

1. Cemetery of Forgotten Books 
from The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
I want nothing more than to simply wander the stacks of this huge, mysterious library. The Cemetery of Forgotten books is a hidden, extensive collection of books otherwise forgotten by the rest of the world, cared for by none other than the protagonist's father, an antiquarian and rare book dealer.  In the book, the protagonist is told to pick out one book from the shelves to basically take care of and explore. I would love to wander through those labyrinthine shelves and see what there is to offer.

“Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.”

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository

2. The Hogwarts Library 
from the Harry Potter series
It's not that the Hogwarts Library is anything momentous (I don't think?), but I do love the idea of a library full of magical texts, and you can be sure that I want into the restricted section. I just feel like there are a lot of hidden and surprising books in this library that I would love to explore. Plus, the movies always have tiny hidden tidbits like the books shelving themselves and whatnot, which I think is pretty fun.

"'Because that is what Hermione does,' Ron said, shrugging. When in doubt, go to the library."

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository

3. Morpheus' Library/Library of Dreams 
from the Sandman by Neil Gaiman (Vol. 2)

This is probably one of my favorite fictional libraries because I just love the idea of a library filled with not only every single book ever written, but also every single book never written. It has real books, imaginary books mentioned in real books, books not written but imagined, and books completely lost to history. If only this one could be real...

"'Oh yes, but unusual books. You'll find none of them on earth. In this section, for example, are novels their authors never wrote, or never finished, except in dreams.'"

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository

4. Flourish and Blotts 
from Harry Potter

Again, I would just love to explore all of the magical books! I'd probably want to take them all home, but who wouldn't? I really loved how much variety and how unique all of the books sounded when J.K. Rowling described the contents of it in the first book (from the quote below), which makes me want to visit this store even more.

"They bought Harry's school books in a shop called Flourish and Blotts where the shelves were stacked to the ceiling with books as large as paving stones bound in leather; books the size of postage stamps in covers of silk; books full of peculiar symbols and a few books with nothing in them at all."

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository

5. Literary Apothecary
from The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
Even though I didn't love this book, I still loved the bookshop! The protagonist, Jean Perdu, has a bookshop in which he basically hands books out as if they are medicine to people suffering from any ailment. It's a lovely idea, as books really can help with many of our struggles, and I would love to stop by and see what Monsieur Perdu would pick out for me.

"Kästner was one reason I called my book barge the Literary Apothecary,” said Perdu. “I wanted to treat feelings that are not recognized as afflictions and are never diagnosed by doctors. All those little feelings and emotions no therapist is interested in, because they are apparently too minor and intangible. The feeling that washes over you when another summer nears its end. Or when you recognize that you haven’t got your whole life left to find out where you belong. Or the slight sense of grief when a friendship doesn’t develop as you thought, and you have to continue your search for a lifelong companion. Or those birthday morning blues. Nostalgia for the air of your childhood. Things like that.”

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository

6. Belle's Library 
from Beauty and the Beast
I don't actually know any bookworm who hasn't at one point expressed a desire for Belle's gorgeous library. As a kid, we had these 'Look & Find' books and one of my favorites was the Beauty and the Beast one because I loved the incredible  huge library spread. I would stare at that for the longest time and see all that I could explore.

""I see books--hundred of books in shelves that line every wall of the room. The shelves are not orderly; books are shoved in every which way, upright, or stacked sideways, or all atilt against various objects that appear to have been undisturbed for ages...Some are even piled up in corners on the floor, but they are everywhere. On three walls, the bookfilled shelves rise nearly all the way up to the high vaulted ceiling..." - Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository

7. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
from Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

There are a lot of intriguing things about this bookshop, but the stand-out part of it to me is that it's a 24-hour bookshop. Do I ever feel the need to go to a bookstore at two in the morning? I mean, not usually, but do I want the option so that I can take advantage of it? Yes!

"After that, the book will fade, the way all books fade in your mind. But I hope you will remember this: A man walking fast down a dark lonely street. Quick steps and hard breathing, all wonder and need. A bell above a door and the tinkle it makes. A clerk and a ladder and warm golden light, and then: the right book exactly, at exactly the right time."

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository

8. Parnassus
from Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley

It's a bookstore on wheels! What else is there to say?

"When you sell a man a book you don’t sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night - there’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book I mean.”

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository

9. The Library at Deilannis 
from The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington
For this one, it's not so much the library itself that I'm interested in (though I'm sure there are some great books), but there is this device that the protagonists gets to use once that can basically find any book you're looking for. You just sort of stand there and think about what you want or what type of information you're looking for, and then it shows you where the books are that you need. Coolest thing ever? I'd say so.

"They were in a large room--massive, really--and every wall, every inch of wall, was filled with books. They stretched away into each corner; father along avian saw an open doorway, through which it seemed there was another room also full to the brim with tomes.
The stone beneath his palm began to glow; Davian snatched his hand away as if burned...A thread of blue light crept from the stone, slowly but surely stretching out, moving toward the wall until it came to rest touching the spine of a small red book."

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository

10. The Library
from Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
I can't for the life of me recall if the library Lazlo works at actually has a name (??), but I think it'd be fun to visit. I'll admit, the main reason I want to visit is to run into Lazlo Strange because he is one of the best fictional characters out there, but I'm sure there are still plenty of fascinating books lining those shelves to explore.

"He had loved the library, and had felt, as a boy, as though it had a kind of sentience, and perhaps loved him back. But even if it was just walls and a roof with papers inside, it had bewitched him, and drawn him in, and given him everything he needed to become himself.”

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository

Have you read any of these books? What fictional bookstores/libraries would you love to visit? 

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Review: In the House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt

*In the House in the Dark of the Woods will be published Tuesday, October 16th!*

In the House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt
Little, Brown and Company, 2018
Hardcover. 224 pages.

About In the House in the Dark of the Woods:

"'Once upon a time there was and there wasn't a woman who went to the woods.'" 

In this horror story set in colonial New England, a law-abiding Puritan woman goes missing. Or perhaps she has fled or abandoned her family. Or perhaps she's been kidnapped, and set loose to wander in the dense woods of the north. Alone and possibly lost, she meets another woman in the forest. Then everything changes. 

On a journey that will take her through dark woods full of almost-human wolves, through a deep well wet with the screams of men, and on a living ship made of human bones, our heroine may find that the evil she flees has been inside her all along. The eerie, disturbing story of one of our perennial fascinations--witchcraft in colonial America--In the House in the Dark of the Woods is a novel of psychological horror and suspense told in Laird Hunt's characteristically lyrical prose style. It is the story of a bewitching, a betrayal, a master huntress and her quarry. It is a story of anger, of evil, of hatred and of redemption. It is the story of a haunting, a story that makes up the bedrock of American mythology, but told in a vivid way you will never forget."

This was an odd little book, but it was also a good one. This is going to be a shorter review because there really just isn't a lot to review. Although there is a plot and there are a few main characters, this is a book much more focused on the themes, symbols, and overarching story. In the House in the Dark of the Woods is written with a strong folktake-esque style that reads very much like a classic tale, which makes it difficult to speak directly of and analyze the characters and plot itself.

I can, however, speak to Hunt's writing style and how he makes this story so engaging. This book is brimming with magic, seemingly both innocent and overflowing with evil and ambiguity. There's a constant darkness that permeates the atmosphere at all times, but somehow this book still didn't feel quite as dark I as I had hoped it would be. Looking back on it, it feels darker than it seemed while I was reading it, if that makes sense, but I still found it very unsettling due to the constant sort of unease and sense of 'this isn't quite right' feeling present while reading it.

The main characters we meet are our protagonist, a woman known as 'Goody' for this story, Eliza, Granny Someone, and Captain Jane. All are women with their own goals and desires that lead them to the various roles that they play. I enjoyed meeting these women and seeing how their role would play into the storyline and I especially loved how each seemed to have both light and darkness lurking within them. Goody's husband and child are also mentioned many times throughout the book in a way that made it seem as though she was steadfastly loyal to them, but that she didn't particularly care for them, either. There are a lot of interesting dynamics at play between the various characters that made for an intriguing story.

I didn't love this book quite as much as I expected to and I did feel slightly lost at various points, but it was still an interesting enough story for me to follow along and enjoy. There is a lot of symbolism to unpack, as well as a lot of reading between the lines to fully understand hidden meanings and actions on behalf of the characters. For me, the ending was probably the best part of this novel--it was clever, revealing, and added an even darker and more ominous tone that the rest of the book already had. All in all, I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a dark folktale-esque to dive into this fall.

Overall, I've given In the House in the Dark of the Woods four stars!

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository

*I received a copy of In the House of the Dark of the Woods courtesy of Little, Brown in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating of the novel.*

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