In My Mailbox is a Sunday meme hosted by The Story Siren – a great way to share the books we have borrowed, bought, were given to us during the week. I personally find this an inspired idea and ever since we’ve discovered this meme, we have been steadfast contributors. I also thought that this would be a great time as any to launch our new bimonthly theme this January/February: Circus, Carnivale and Paranormal Twists! This means that we would be reviewing books in connection with dark magic, vampires, werewolves, circus, carnivals, monsters, the works!
If you have any recommendations about picture books, YA fiction that would be perfect for our theme, we’d love to hear them.
Circus, Carnivale, All Things Paranormal: Books Borrowed from the Community Library
I have a feeling I’d have a bit of a tough time looking for paranormal-themed picture books – as you know I usually review the picture books among the three of us here in GatheringBooks because of my responsibilities in our university. So I was glad to have found The Banshee by Eve Bunting and Illustrations by Emily Arnold McCully and Dear Vampa by Ross Collins. I have a feeling I’d enjoy both books.
I did not know that there was an illustrated version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula as adapted by Nicky Raven and drawings by Anne Yvonne Gilbert – this is absolutely perfect for our theme! I was also pleased to discover In Search of Sasquatch by Kelly Milner Halls – which would be wonderful for Nonfiction Monday, and at the same time suits our paranormal theme too!
Now, I know this is stretching it a wee bit too much, since I barely have time to go over the list of books on my shelf, but I shall try reading The Carnival of Lost Souls: A Handcuff Kid Novel by Laura Quimby. Has anyone read this book yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have. Now the other two books caught my ten year old daughter’s eye. She felt that she could take on a new series (hah!) after being loyal to Goosebumps for such a long time: Wolven by Di Toft (apparently the first in the series) and Wolven, Book Two: The Twilight Circus also by Di Toft. Hmmm… a shapeshifter book for kids, let’s see if my daughter enjoys it. If she does, then maybe it’s worth a review. She has just finished reading Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret and she felt immensely proud of herself to have finished such a thick book. Granted there are quite a number of illustrations, but regardless, it was a fast read since she completed the entire book in two days.
I’m pretty excited to read Marilyn Singer’s The Circus Lunicus. I have been taken big time by her picture books (Mirror, Mirror and her A Full Moon is Rising), thus, reading a YA novel from her would most likely be a treat. Gershon’s Monster as retold by Eric A. Kimmel and Illustrated by Jon J. Muth also spoke to me – as I read through the summary found at the back, I discovered that it is a story for the Jewish New Year. We are celebrating Chinese New Year in a few days’ time, this might be a good book to feature since it is also in keeping with our paranormal vibe – with the mention of monsters
These three picture books are carnivale/circus related: Stand Straight, Ella Kate by our favorite Klise sisters, Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise - perfect for Nonfiction Monday too! I also found Circus Girl by Jack Sendak and pictures by Maurice Sendak. We have another book from the Klise sisters: Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother on Earth - also in keeping with the carnivale theme.
Katy Towell’s Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow. Looks like it’s going to be an amazing read. For some light reading, I also borrowed Dr. Seuss’ If I Ran the Circus.
Another perfect book for Nonfiction Monday (good luck to finding the time to read and review this relatively-thick book): The Encyclopedia of the Unexplained by Judy Allen.
Carnivale/Paranormal Books from the NIE Library
I also borrowed a few books from my own institution’s library and here are my finds: Cooper Edens/ Daniel Lane Shawnee Bill’s Enchanted Five-Ride Carrousel and Circus! Circus! Poems Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and Illustrated by John O’Brien. I figured that the latter would be a perfect contribution for Poetry Friday while still within our Carnivale/Paranormal theme. Yay!
How much more paranormal can you get with creatures such as The Grunt and The Grouch by Tracey Corderoy and Lee Wildish and of course The Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
I am not sure if Jim: A Cautionary Tale by Hilaire Belloc and Mini Grey would fit our theme, but we shall try. And here I go again, being ambitious – I borrowed The Thurber Carnival written and illustrated by James Thurber. Ever since I did a review of his The Wonderful O and The Thirteen Clocks I have fallen in love with Thurber’s writing. And while daunting, I shall endeavor to read at least a few of the stories each night from this thick book.
I was taken by the book cover of Can You See What I see? On a Scary Scary Night by Walter Wick. Vunce Upon a Time by Jotto Seibold and Siobhan Vivian with illustrations by Jotto Seibold also looked cute. We shall see if we can insert these picture books in. I borrowed Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman from the library several months back, but as all good intentions go, was not able to read it. Let’s see if I would be successful in finishing the book this time around.
More Book Bargains
One of my resolutions is to stop giving myself a moratorium when it comes to purchasing bargain books, because I simply could not help myself. Here are some more books that I bought over the past weeks from Bras Basah, here in Singapore.
I got a hardcover edition of Kenny & the Dragon by Tony Diterlizzi for 2.90 sgd. Not bad. I’ve been meaning to read an Ursula Le Guin novel, and so I could not help but also buy The Dispossessed for 2.90 again. I also found Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson fascinating. And I could definitely include that as part of our paranormal theme.
I am a sucker for modern fairy tales or fractured retelling of beloved tales – and this one by Holly Black!! Ironside: A Modern Faerie Tale. I am also trying to slowly collect Cynthia Voigt’s celebrated Tillerman Cycle – and I am getting bits and pieces from the book. I already have Homecoming and the Newbery Honor Book A Solitary Blue. I was glad to have found the last book in the series: Seventeen Against the Dealer. I need to find four more books from the series then I begin reading them all. Yum! I got these two lovely books as part of a package deal: 2 books for 5 sgd. Only in Bras Basah.
I also found The Anybodies by N. E. Bode – from the book cover alone and the author’s name, I know I have found a winner – and yes, I got this for 1 sgd (!!!). Amy MacDonald’s book is actually a 2-in-1 Flip Book – No More Nice and No More Nasty. 2 books for the price of 2.90! Not bad.
Now these two lovely books are not on sale. My daughter received gift certificates – so we decided on buying Marcus Sedgwick’s Lunatics and Luck - part of The Raven Mysteries and his The Swordhand: Omnibus – a 2-in-1 book as well, if I am not mistaken. I also felt that Marcus Sedgwick would be perfect for our paranormal theme.
Freebies from Pansing Books
I have just received a wondrous set of books from Pansing for review – and I have been avidly waiting for these lovelies to arrive. The Chaos Walking Trilogy from Patrick Ness: The Knife of Never Letting Go, Monsters of Men and The Ask and the Answer. I also received A Monster Calls which I shall be sending to Iphigene this week. There is also Please Look after Mother by Kyung Sook-Shin and my much-awaited Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick! Yum!