Book Hunting Expeditions Paranormal and Carnivale Reading Themes

IMM (30): Circus, Carnivale and Paranormal Twists – Launch of our Bimonthly theme this January/February 2012

Circus, Carnivale and Paranormal Twists

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!

Poster courtesy of our treasured Iphigene

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

The Banshee: Amazon | Book Depository

Dear Vampa: Amazon | Book Depository

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.

In Search of Sasquatch: Amazon | Book Depository

Dracula: Amazon | Book Depository

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!

The Carnival of Lost Souls: A Handcuff Kid Novel: Amazon | Book Depository

Wolven: Amazon | Book Depository

Wolven: The Twilight Circus: Amazon | Book Depository

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. 🙂

The Circus Lunicus: Amazon | Book Depository

Gershon’s Monster: Amazon | Book Depository

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 🙂

Stand Straight Ella Kate: Amazon | Book Depository

Circus Girl: Amazon | Book Depository

Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother on Earth: Amazon | Book Depository

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.

Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow: Amazon | Book Depository

If I Ran the Circus: Amazon | Book Depository

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.

The Encyclopedia of the Unexplained: Amazon | Book Depository

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

Shawnee Bill’s Enchanted Five-Ride Carrousel: Amazon | Book Depository

Circus! Circus!: Amazon | Book Depository

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!

The Grunt and The Grouch: Amazon | Book Depository

The Gruffalo’s Child: Amazon | Book Depository

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.

Jim A Cautionary Tale: Amazon | Book Depository

The Thurber Carnival: Amazon | Book Depository

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.

Can You See What I See? On a Scary Scary Night: Amazon | Book Depository

Skeleton Creek: Amazon | Book Depository

Vunce Upon a Time: Amazon | Book Depository

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.

Kenny & The Dragon: Amazon | Book Depository

The Dispossessed: Amazon | Book Depository

Which Witch?: Amazon | Book Depository

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. 

Ironside A Modern Faerie Tale: Amazon | Book Depository

Seventeen Against the Dealer: Amazon |

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.

No More Nice, No More Nasty: Amazon | Book Depository

the Anybodies: Amazon | Book Depository

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.

Lunatics and Luck: Amazon | Book Depository

The Swordhand: Amazon | Book Depository

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

Please Look After Mother: Amazon | Book Depository

Wonderstruck: Amazon | Book Depository

A Monster Calls: Amazon | Book Depository

The Knife of Never Letting Go: Amazon | Book Depository

Monsters of Men: Amazon | Book Depository

The Ask and Answer: Amazon | Book Depository

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!

That’s it! How about you? I’m keen to know what books you received over the week! What books were in your mailbox this week?

** PS. For those who have not signed up yet, we are hosting an Award-Winning Book Reading Challenge for 2012. Do consider joining us! Click here to sign up and here to know more!

44 comments on “IMM (30): Circus, Carnivale and Paranormal Twists – Launch of our Bimonthly theme this January/February 2012

  1. Looks like you have some interesting reading ahead of you! Great theme. My kids really enjoyed Which Witch,The Anybodies, and Walter Wick’s books. The Knife of Never Letting Go blew me away.

    I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the Holly Black book. I’d like to read that!


    • Hi Tabatha, those three earlier books you just mentioned look like pretty quick (and amusing) reads. The Anybodies sounded like Lemony Snicket, so I’m pretty excited with that one. I’m a little daunted by how thick The Knife of Never Letting Go seems to be, but I will definitely give it a go. If I don’t finish the Chaos Walking Trilogy in the next month or so, we’d still feature them here. 🙂 I’ve read really good reviews about the trilogy.


  2. Wonderful list of books. There are always a few students who study the paranormal as their individual unit at my school, so this will be helpful to teachers who want to find connected books. The librarian just received a big box of books this week. We’ve been reading blogs & looking for possible Newbery winners so it was a great time getting all those books in. I won’t list them all here, but I brought home A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness which I’m excited to be reading & am already halfway through-fascinating! I think it fits your theme, Myra.


    • Hi Linda! I’m holding off reading A Monster Calls – simply because I could tell it would be a pretty absorbing and fascinating read. I must confess though that my eyes keep being drawn to my bookshelf where I’m keeping my own copy. I was actually thinking that Iphigene and I can do a collaborative blogpost on this one since I am sending her this review copy from Pansing (husband bought me a copy for Christmas). Would look forward to peeking through some of your book finds – receiving a huge box of books is always always a treat.


  3. OMG. Such a huge haul of books. I’m impressed. Where do you fit them all? I would die of shock.

    Great haul as usual. Thanks for visiting me earlier.


  4. Wow, that’s a lot of books! 🙂


  5. cool sounding middle grade
    new folower

    a vid book lovers will love
    The JOY of books


  6. Great books! You got a ton of them. I sadly haven’t read a zombie book to date. Weird….

    Happy Reading!



  7. The Chaos Walking Trilogy sounds amazing. I really need to read it! Happy Reading!
    My IMM
    A Beautiful Madness


  8. Great set! Love the circus themed books. I really want to read Wonderstruck too.
    My IMM


  9. Oh wow, what an epic haul – I am so jealous of The Chaos Series – it is on my wishlist for sure. Love to see your reviews 🙂 Thank you for visiting my mini IMM this week.


  10. Cool books this week!! They look great 🙂

    Happy reading and thanks for stopping by!!


  11. WOW so many books. Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow looks interesting. Enjoy!


  12. What a great idea for a theme! Lots of circus-themed reads!! 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Michele | IMM


  13. WOW! Great haul again! So many interesting titles! Happy reading! Can’t wait to see what you get next time.

    Chapter by Chapter


  14. So many books! They all look great – my fave would be the illustrated Dracula version, but I might be biased 😉

    I’ll be sure to write you as soon as I get my Finnikin and Froi reviews up 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!



  15. Those are some wonderful books from Pansing. The only one I’ve read is A Monster Calls but they are all supposed to be pretty great, especially Wonderstruck.
    Happy reading!


    • Hi Lucy! So good to see you again. I am nearly through with Wonderstruck and my daughter has been begging me to speed up my reading so she can start reading it. She’s finished with The Invention of Hugo Cabret – definitely a Selznick fan.


  16. Those are A LOT of books! haha! Enjoy them all!



  17. Lots of really great things this week! I’ve heard Patrick Ness’s series is really amazing. A Monster Calls is also been getting really good reviews. I hope you enjoy them all!


  18. I will never not love Dr. Suess. 😛


  19. Wow! So many books! I really hope you enjoy them all!
    Thanks for stopping by 🙂


  20. Awesome books this week, I enjoy Holly Black’s novels C:

    Shorskie’s IMM


    • Hi Courtney, glad to hear that you enjoyed Holly Black – my only experience with her is through the Spiderwick chronicles – so I’m looking forward to reading this one.


  21. Pingback: List of Novels in Verse and Poetry Books for Children and Round-up for January 2012 «

  22. Pingback: Carnival of Children’s Literature: A February Round-Up and More «

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