Confessions of a Bookaholic: On Collecting Books

Confessions of a Bookaholic

Hi, my name is Cat, and I collect books.

Book Collections

To be fair, the books I actively collect are fairly limited in number. By that I mean the books that are considered ‘collectable’ or books that I have more than one edition of.

I’m sure every book lover out there has that one weakness, be it pretty collected editions, or a favorite series they’ve just got to own. It’s a commonality, right?

Book Collections

For me, I have a couple of weaknesses. I love the pretty collected editions, of course, and I even have a few. But I’m trying to limit how many of those I buy, because I feel like that’s an easy way for me to get out of control. As it stands I have a few Barnes and Noble Collected Editions (I love their binding, can’t help it!), some of the Penguin Drop Caps as well – I’ll confess that I actually do want this full set. I just haven’t gotten around to buying them all yet. Right now they’re just the occasional treat thing for me.

Book Collections

My biggest weakness would be my Harry Potter collection, obviously. I’m a major fan of the series, and there are just SO MANY different editions out there. I haven’t caved and gone for the illustrated editions yet (because of cost) but boy are they tempting.

I’m actually pretty proud of the collection I have so far. I have my beat up and well-loved set – the set that I read and reread when each one released. I have the set in the chest, and I’m working on getting the 20th Anniversary sets as they come out (you know the ones where they make one per house – so pretty!).

Lastly I’m trying to collect some of the series in different languages. I haven’t been actively working on this one lately, so what I do have has been pretty much pure luck. Though Book Depository is a huge help as well, of course.

Book Collections 3

My final collection is probably the one I’m most proud of: I collect Pride & Prejudice editions. Basically any fancy Jane Austin collection I’ll buy, plus the various printings of Pride and Prejudice itself. I wouldn’t say I have an amazing collection yet, but I’m really happy with what I do have. Mostly because almost all of the copies I have so far have been gifts, and thus they’re very sentimental to me.

Book Collections 5

I know it’s important to limit the collections I allow myself, because otherwise that way lay dragons, so to speak. I may have a slightly larger collection than normal, but likewise I’m sure that I’m not the worst offender out there.

 

So, what is your book weakness? What book will you always buy a copy of, given the choice? Or what series/collected set?

 

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Review: Oddly Normal, Book 1

Oddly Normal, Book 1

Publisher: Image Comics
Received: Comixology
Issues: Oddly Normal 1-5
Rating: 4 kitties

Oddly Normal is a cute series from Image Comics. It’s about a girl, who literally is named Oddly Normal. Odd, I know. She’s not exactly normal, but her green hair and pointed ears probably gave that away pretty fast. She’s a half-witch living in the human world. Things suddenly change for Oddly on her tenth birthday, and for her sake I hope not for good.

I’ve actually been meaning to read this series for ages now, so I’m thrilled to finally have some time to get around to it. So far the series has lived up to my expectations, which is always a huge relief.I had wanted to read the series because if kind of reminded me of Halloweentown (please tell me you’ve seen it)…and I am thrilled to report that the tone is spot on. Score!

Spoiler Warning

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Review: Business Cat: Hostile Takeover

Business Cat Hostile Takeover

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Released: May 7th 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 3 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of Business Cat: Hostile Takeover through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I should probably preface this review by saying that I’m a huge fan of Business Cat. I think the comics are hilarious, and I’ve been reading them here and there online as I’ve been able to.

Business Cat is written and drawn by Tom Fonder. You can find the comics online, or you could do what I mainly do, which is wait for them to come out in book form and binge them all. While also keeping your eye open for the online comics. Why not?

The basic premise, on the off chance that you don’t know, is that the CEO of a company is well…he’s a cat. More accurately, a cat head on a human body. The end result is…interesting. And it leaves a lot of room for office shenanigans. Hence the entire premise for some insane (but fun) plots.

Business Cat is really a perfect series for anybody that enjoys humor like this, and honestly for cat owners as well. We know some of Business Cat’s behavior all too well, and sometimes it’s a real treat to see it shoved into a different perspective or situation.

It’s been a while since I was able to sit down and read through an entire plot arc for Business Cat, so this volume was exactly what I’ve been hoping for. It was over one hundred pages of comics all surrounding the same core plot. The series itself has been a lot of fun, but it was also nice to have something a bit more that I could sink my teeth into.

This was a really fun book with lots of hilarious moments. I’m not going to tell you my favorite moment (and yes, I absolutely do have a favorite), because it’d be a major spoiler. But I will say that I nearly cried laughing at that point. So consider yourselves warned!

 

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Review: In the Shadows of Spindrift House by Mira Grant

In the Shadows of Spindrift House

Publisher: Subterranean Press
Author: Mira Grant
Release: Jun 20th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: Kitty Rating

I received a copy of In the Shadows of Spindrift House through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

In the Shadows of Spindrift House is the latest novella from Mira Grant (AKA Seanan McGuire). It’s heavily influenced by Lovecraftian lore, so if you’re a fan of that tone and style of writing, then you’re surely going to love this one.

As you can probably surmise from the title, the plot of In the Shadows of Spindrift House circles around a house. It’s a disturbing tale, with creepy tones and foreshadowing elements strewn all over the place.

This novella is perfect if you’ve read any of Lovecraft’s works, and felt like it needed more human emotions and reactions in the tale. Mira Grant perfectly captures the nature of both the house and the people in this chilling tale.

Spoiler Warning

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Review: Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

Finale

Publisher: Flatiron Books
Author: Stephanie Garber
Released: May 7th 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of Finale through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

It’s hard to believe it, but the conclusion for Caraval is here! Finale is the third and final novel in the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber. If you haven’t read any of this series yet, but have been debating it, I strongly recommend that you give it a chance!

Finale follows two sisters, Scarlett and Tella, as they each face their own set of adventures and dangers. Scarlett is trying to decide on who she should be with, while Tella isn’t done playing games with Legend. Unfortunately for both of them, there’s something much larger looming on the horizon.

I should confess that until recently I hadn’t actually read the whole series. I had been meaning to since Caraval came out, but something else (usually another book) always got in the way). Well this week I sat down and read all three books in just as many days. And I have no regrets about it, other than perhaps wishing I had read them sooner.

This series has absolutely lived up to all of the hype I’ve heard, and then some. I’m so glad that I gave the series a chance. Though of course now I’m sad to see the series conclude…

Spoiler Warning

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Animated Cover Reveal: The Girl in Red

The Girl in RedThe Girl in Red by Christina Henry
Berkley Trade Paperback Original
Release: June 18th, 2019
ISBN: 9780451492289
$16.00
304 Pages

Book Description:

“From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a postapocalyptic take on the perennial classic “Little Red Riding Hood”…about a woman who isn’t as defenseless as she seems.

It’s not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn’t look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.

Red doesn’t like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn’t about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods….”

GirlinRed-CoverAnimation

Praise for The Girl in Red:

“Satisfyingly upends the familiar tale of a clever girl, a dangerous wolf, and a brave savior, and folklore fans will enjoy this bloody near-future variation on a familiar theme.”—Publishers Weekly

Praise for Christina Henry:

“A riveting rewrite of Peter Pan.”—The Wall Street Journal on Lost Boy

“This wild, unrelenting tale, full to the brim with the freedom and violence of young boys who never want to grow up, will appeal to fans of dark fantasy.”—Booklist on Lost Boy

“Beautifully written and daringly conceived, The Mermaid is a fabulous story, in both senses of that word. It’s full of magic and passion and courage, set against a convincing historical backdrop in which women, much less mermaids, have only the power they seize for themselves. Henry’s spare, muscular prose is a delight. I loved this novel.”—Louisa Morgan, author of The Secret History of Witches

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Review: #Fashionvictim by Amina Akhtar

Fashionvictim

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Author: Amina Akhtar
Released: September 11th 2018
Received: Own (BOTM)
Warning: Murder, eating disorders
Rating: 3 1/2 kitties

                #Fashionvictim has got to be one of the quirkiest books I’ve read in quite some time. I feel like that’s saying something too.

The novel is Amina Akhtar’s debut novel, and fortunately for her it made it onto the BOTM options – something that I’m sure helped it gain more attention. The novel itself is about the fashion industry. Not so much the designing elements of it, but the print elements. Think of the Devil Wears Prada, only with some unhealthy obsessions about fashion heroes.

Spoiler Warning

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Review: Bluff by Jane Stanton Hitchcock

Bluff by Jane Stanton Hitchcock

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Author: Jane Stanton Hitchcock
Release: April 2nd 2019
Received: BookishFirst
Warnings: Sexual abuse/control, financial control, animal death
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Bluff through BookishFirst in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Bluff has got to be one of the most unique combinations I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s a thriller heavily influenced by poker and card games. That may sound a bit odd, but it actually worked really well.

The novel follows the events surrounding Maud Warner, AKA Mad Maud, and all of the chaos she creates. To be fair, she had reasons to do everything she did. Like a true thriller novel, Maud is a woman who is out for revenge, but naturally there’s more going on here than meets the eye.

Spoiler Warning

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Review: En Plein Air: Watercolor

En Plein Air Watercolor

Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing
Author: Ron Stocke
Released: December 18th 2018
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of En Plein Air: Watercolor through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

En Plein Air: Watercolor is a fascinating art book; one I hadn’t realized I needed to read until I spotted it listed online. This art book teaches you everything you need to know about painting with watercolors out in the real world – out in the open air, so to speak.

What originally caught my attention about En Plein Air: Watercolor was the cover. The colors were so beautiful, and the artwork so vibrant, I knew I had to learn more about it. What I found inside did not disappoint.

En Plein Air covers everything you might expect, and then some. It is a traditional art book, in that it teaches you everything you need to know about the particular medium included (watercolors, in this case), but as I stated above it also gives you the important starting information for painting outside. That sounds like a simple concept, but there’s more to it than that. This book does a good job of explaining it, and giving tips and tricks.

This book is split into seven sections; drawing, painting on location (this was my personal favorite), composition & technique, color & value, tips & techniques, the Artist’s Voice, and sketchbooks to studio. As you can see, it includes a little bit of everything. It’s certainly everything an aspiring artist would need to get started.

 

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Review: Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti The Night Masquerade

Publisher: Tor.com
Author: Nnedi Okorafor
Released: January 16th 2018
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Binti: The Night Masquerade through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Night Masquerade is the third and I believe final novella in the Binti trilogy. Part of me hopes that the series will continue, but I also have to acknowledge that it had the perfect ending here, so it is what it is I suppose.

Binti: The Night Masquerade was actually the first novella I spotted about Binti, and is in truth the reason I searched for the beginning and wanted to read everything. I feel in love with the cover, the title, and the description.

I’m going to be up front and honest with you here; this novella made me cry. A lot. It was exquisitely written and managed to perfectly tug at my heartstrings. I felt so much for Binti and everything she believed in and worked for. It was impossible not to be emotionally moved by some of the events that occurred in The Night Masquerade.

Spoiler Warning

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