While I still have more than a dozen academic books to go through (for journal publication, course preparation and my own delectation) and around 3 shelves of fiction (picture books, young adult lit, chapter books, gothic clive barker stuff) that are just waiting to be devoured, I can not help but visit the recent Singapore Book Fair where I did not make a promise to not buy anything. See! That was wise. Or else, that would’ve been a broken vow. Not good. Here are some of the books that I got from the Fair.
The first thing that struck me was Cornelia Funke has a Chapter Book!!! I have been absolutely smitten by the Inkheart chronicles (I personally feel that the movie did not do justice to the books). This alone is enough to make me buy this in addition to the fact that it’s part of the 3 for 10 SGD bargain books. The Horrible Christmas book, I feel would be a wonderful read-aloud to the kids in the States when we visit family this December. This’d be a nice refreshing change from the feel-good, parochial kind of tales with the Horrible Twist. And of course, Ela’s Judy Moody. Truth be told, she has not started with the Judy Moody books that she has right now, but there is something about this series that appeals to the both of us so. We shall see. Will review this soon, or better yet get Ela to review it.
Now these picture books admittedly caught me because of their nicey covers. No they are not Caldecott-honor books, but flipping through the pages seem to suggest a different kind of story. Plus, I’m up to experimenting with less-known authors. Shall review as well. Soon. Like magic, it shall be there when it is there. Hahaha.
I wonder how this Magicians of Caprona would differ from DiCamilo’s The magician’s elephantor something of the sort (Fats, you reviewed that book, right?). Can’t wait to read it. Now I am a veritable sucker for series, so when I saw the velvety-cover of this Little Fur series, I can not help but purchase it. Plus stories of elves, fairies, enchantment and what not always appeal to me. Especially if there are unusual twists to it.
The highlight, I believe of this Book Fair is my purchasing David Almond’s The Savage at an extremely low 5SGD price. And illustrated by my all-time favorite Dave Mc KEAN!!! Ela and I are reading through it right now, and as all writings by David Almond go, it speaks of heavy-duty issues such as death, resiliency, and finding one’s inner strength amidst difficulties. It’s one lovely lovely read. You forget for a time that it’s a children’s book. The symbolism, imagery, it’s a story within a story!! I can not wait to do a review on this. And of course, I finally got myself a Rick Riordan book. I want to see what the hype is all about. I haven’t even seen the movie yet. I am saving it until I’ve read the book. This one is hardbound for only 10 sgd. Hope it’s worth it.
So yes, this is what you find when you flip through the pages of The Savage. Classic Dave Mc Kean drawings, Very reminiscent of Neil Gaiman picture books. Contrary to the flippant, otherworldly, bordering on the surreal themes of Gaiman’s books (The Day I swapped my Dad for two goldfish and Wolves in the Walls), David Almond speaks of grief, loss, and discovering one’s inner savage and celebrating it. Truly wonderful.
Now, this book has got me all excited as well. The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas. Apparently there’s a Book Two. And it seems to be well-received. The caption which says “Would you read a book if it is cursed?” is precisely the reason why I bought it, plus the black-rimmed pages.
Matilda who told Lies struck me as being visually stunning. I have a collection of Philip Reeve books (still unread… oh so much to read, so little time). And admittedly, this The Old Countrybook caught my fanciful imagination with its strange cover. Seems postmodern if anything. While a lot of people claim that you should not judge a book by its cover, unfortunately, that’s the first thing that would capture any buyer’s eye. And yes, it should stand out. At the very least.
Like I have mentioned, I am in an exploratory phase when it comes to picture books. There were quite a number done by Nick Ward. I am particularly interested with the Writer/Illustrator ones. Hence, this seems like a pretty nice investment. Would also review soon (magically, it shall appear in the next few months or so). Hahahaha.
These books I got for the kids I will be seeing in Sydney this July. Ela’s way too big for them. I am aware that the usual gifts happen to be video games and such, but as we always say in Gathering Books, we try our best to promote literacy and share our passion for the written word. So while it’s way heavier than the usual psp games, books are still the way to go for presents (at least on my end).
As I was telling husband and Ela, I wish for a month I could be trapped in an island with just all these books books books for company. I could live each day flipping through these books, reading and writing, reading and writing. But as they say, careful what you wish for… =) . What are your recent book acquisitions??