Book Hunting Expeditions Young Adult (YA) Literature

[BHE 63] Feeding My Love for Neil Gaiman, Roald Dahl, Haruki Murakami, Patrick Ness, and Clive Barker, Among Others


Hello. Fats here once again.

I am making a comeback for today’s Book Hunting Expedition. I bought these books a few weeks ago, and I could not contain my excitement to share these “luvvies” with you. I’ve been extremely pleased (and happy, of course!) with this particular book hunt. In last week’s BHE, I mentioned that it was one of the most impulsive book buying spree I have ever done. Needless to say, every book buying spree for a book hunter is an impulsive business. This week’s BHE features some of the most popular names in the writing industry. I hope that, with this post, you’ll find new titles to hunt—and love!—for your next book hunting expedition.


Neil Gaiman’s ‘Make Good Art’ Speech

I’ve listened to his speech on YouTube early this year. Most what he talked about escaped my brain because I was swayed by his beautiful accent. When he announced that his speech was going to be published in book form, I thought it would only be a special edition with limited copies. Luckily, I found several in-store copies at Barnes & Noble. When a book hunter wants something, he’d go for it no matter what. So I did. And I was the happiest lass in town. (I’m also a sucker for varying font sizes and color, so I find the layout of this book really appealing.)


The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales
(Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling)

When we launched our bimonthly theme, Crazy Over Cybils, last January, I was hoping to feature Jasper Fforde’s The Last Dragonslayer. Unfortunately, only the hardcover edition was available at the time, and I could not find a copy in our library. There goes that idea. Imagine how thrilled I was when they finally released a paperback edition a little over a month ago. Yay! As for The Perks of Being A Wallflower, I was lucky to find a copy at Book Off being sold for only $3, about a quarter of the original price. I bought A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales at the same time as Wallflower because a dollar worth of fractured fairy tales equates to a million-dollar-worth treasure to my fractured-fairy-tale-loving heart.


Lord Sunday by Garth Nix
The Neddiad by Daniel Pinkwater

These two are what I would like to call as “fillers.” Lord Sunday is the seventh book and final installment to Garth Nix’s The Keys to the Kingdom series. This means that I am only missing Superior Saturday to complete the series. Yay!!! I cannot wait for the day that I’ll be able to feature that book here. The Neddiad is the first book in Daniel Pinkwater’s Neddie & Friends series. I bought a copy of The Yggysey, the second book in the series, in hopes that I would be able to easily acquire a cheap copy of the first book—which, in most cases, is quite difficult to achieve. However, Lady Luck always favors the book hunter, so I was able to find The Neddiad shortly after buying The Yggysey.


Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
Watership Down by Richard Adams

Jacqueline Woodson’s novel, Locomotion, was tucked between thick YA novel reads. One would not notice it if one would not browse the book titles carefully. I was thrilled to discover that Locomotion is a verse novel, and it depicts the story of a boy named Lonnie Collins Motion (Locomotion, for short) and his courageous way of telling the world about his life, his little sister, and the fire that took his parents away through poetry. Because it’s perfect for our current theme on Loss, Heartbreak, and Coming of Age, I’m really hoping I’ll be able to feature this book in the next few weeks to come. I learned about Richard Adams’ Watership Down through my boyfriend’s cousin who loved the book for as long as he could remember. Every time I hear the title, scenes from Kevin Costner’s Waterworld always come to mind, thanks to the word ‘water.’ Haha! Watership Down is a “rabbity” adventure, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.


William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher

What better way to proclaim your geekiness to the world than writing a novel based on the creative minds of an English playwright (Shakespeare) and a legendary director (George Lucas). This book reimagines Star Wars in the most glorious, sublime way possible by using the iambic pentameter. In his Prologue, Ian Doescher writes, “In time so long ago begins our play, | In star-crossed galaxy far, far away.” Must buy for fans of Shakespeare and/or Star Wars.


The Umbrella Man and Other Stories by Roald Dahl
Underground by Haruki Murakami

I’ve never heard of or seen either book, so you could imagine why it was so hard for me to let go of these books. As a book hunter, I must. I must. I must. The Umbrella Man and Other Stories contain thirteen tales of horror and hilarity from master storyteller Roald Dahl. (It said so on the back of the book.) I am very fond of short stories, so this baker’s dozen of macabre short stories is something I look forward to reading. Plus, it’s Roald Dahl. Nobody says no to Roald Dahl! Haruki Murakami’s Underground, on the other hand, is a non-fiction novel that contains Murakami’s interviews with the victims of and the group responsible for Tokyo subway gas attack that took place in 1995. It’s a very promising and fascinating read.


Murkmere by Patricia Elliott
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Imajica by Clive Barker

These lovely, lovely, looovely finds were priced at $5 each! Whattabargain!!! I love Book Off and its amazing deals. I was intrigued by the cover of Murkmere so I decided to take that instead of a Sherlock Holmes spinoff. The book has something to do with apprenticeship and Birds. I was reminded of the hunger birds in Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and I imagined a likeness to the avian creatures in Murkmere. The Science Fiction Book Club is selling an omninbus edition of Patrick Ness’ The Chaos Walking Trilogy but I wanted the covers of the books above so I was extremely happy that all three books in the series were available for purchase at Book Off that day. What I find even more amazing was the fact that, two weeks prior to that visit, I had already seen the second and third books but the first one was missing. That thing I said about Lady Luck favoring the book hunter? Couldn’t be more true. The only Clive Barker book I’ve read was ABARAT (a copy of which I have yet to acquire!). I was speechless to find this 1991 edition of Imajica published by Harper Collins. Talk about old, thick books in the fantasy section of a bookstore. The novel is really, really long, so it might take me a while to devour it.



The Melancholy of Mechagirl by Catherynne M. Valente

I fell in love with Catherynne M. Valente since I’ve read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. I’m probably not looking hard enough but I don’t see a lot of her books every time I browse the shelves at Barnes & Noble. I was overjoyed upon seeing the only copy of The Melancholy of Mechagirl on the shelf. Everything about this book screams Japanese and, boy, was I right. The first thing that came to mind when I saw the title was The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, an anime involving an eccentric girl named Haruhi who likes to investigate supernatural phenomena. The cover of Valente’s book brought to mind images from Satoshi Kon’s animated film, Paprika. Described as the Bradbury of her generation (Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians), Catherynne M. Valente takes readers to a magic carpet ride with thirteen tales influenced by Japanese mythology. Included in this book is the semiautobiographical, metafictional, and utterly magical, “Ink, Water, Milk.”

3 comments on “[BHE 63] Feeding My Love for Neil Gaiman, Roald Dahl, Haruki Murakami, Patrick Ness, and Clive Barker, Among Others

  1. Hi Fats! I have A Wolf at the Door, and it was good. I liked some more than the other, as it is with short story collections. Is the Keys to the Kingdom series good? Although I have yet to finish the Abhorsen series. And how about Abarat? And I want that Shakespeare Star Wars. It looks pretty awesome! 😀


    • Fats Suela

      Hi Tin! I’m glad that you liked A Wolf at the Door. I haven’t started with The Keys to the Kingdom yet, even though I’m only missing the Saturday book. I’ve read The Abhorsen Trilogy, though, and enjoyed it immensely. ABARAT is a gem. It was the only Clive Barker novel I’ve read, and it made me want to read more of his works. Yes, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is pretty awesome, although I have yet to get my hands on it. Heh.


  2. Pingback: [Monday Reading] Displaced Hearts and Nontraditional Families in Picture Books “Every Saturday” and “Fly Away Home” |

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