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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

In My Mailbox 2

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme (but you can do them less often, as I am) which is run by The Story Siren.

Well, I've had quite a busy two weeks for book-buying! I've also been loading up my kindle ready for the return to work and its bus and train travel.

Dark Angels by Katherine Langrish (won signed copy from the author via Twitter).
This is my exciting acquisition of the fortnight. I won this in a draw simply by retweeting a link to the atmospheric new trailer for it. I was so thrilled!

The book is a medieval fantasy set on Devil's Edge (based on Stiperstones) about a young boy called Wolf who runs away and gets caught up in a scary adventure involving elves and a ghostly hunt. I loved Langrish's West of the Moon and am looking forward to devouring this one. Find more info on Amazon UK

So now we move onto my purchased new reads:

Bloodstone by Gillian Philip (read my review here).
Having loved Firebrand, the first in the series, I was extremely keen to read this, the second instalment. I recommend this series wholeheartedly to lovers of fantasy and YA.
Find more info at Amazon UK

American Gods 10th Anniversary Edition by Neil Gaiman. I loved the original and am keen to read the 'author's preferred text' - plus, of course, there's an extra short story in this edition.  The premise of this book is fantastic: as people emigrated into America, they took their gods with them. But gods evolve and change as their believers do, so America is full of altered, americanised versions of gods from around the world. Oh, and all of them are in danger of being pushed out by the new gods of the internet and television and so on. Fabulously inventive stuff, as we've come to expect from Gaiman.
Find more info at Amazon UK

Don't Judge a Girl by her Cover (more info)
and Only the Good Spy Young (more info) by Ally Carter
These are books 3 and 4 in the excellent Gallagher Girls series about a selective independent girls' school which is actually a training ground for spies. I've read the first and we have the second in the house already as my 12 yr old reads these too. In fact, I haven't seen these two for a while. Hmm.

And now we come to my Kindle-fest, which is a glorious mixture. I bought:

The Wombles by Elisabeth Beresford, because it's 99p at the moment and my 7 yr old wanted to try reading on the Kindle and it seemed like (and was!) a good idea.

Florence and Giles by John Harding, because Nicola Morgan recommended it and it sounded like a great read: elements of the gothic and perhaps psychological thriller, and with a highly creative approach to language. It sounds like the first-person narration uses a lot of quite specific idiolect, creating many new words largely by playing with word class . Looking forward to reading this!

The Opposite of Amber by Gillian Philip, because I've loved her Rebel Angels books and have also heard great things about this. It's a quite different style to Firebrand and Bloodstone, but is still YA. It's a contemporary realistic novel which is described as a thriller, but many reviewers are saying that it is much more character-driven than the thriller label makes it seem. It seems to mostly be about the relationship two sisters share.

Tracking the Tempest by Nicole Peeler. This is the second in her Jane True series and the first (Tempest Rising) was a great read. This is smart and funny urban fantasy set in a world with a whole range of supernatural beings. I'll be reviewing both of these together on Thursday, but if you like UF these are well worth checking out.

Undead and Unwed;
Undead and Unemployed;
Undead and Unappreciated by MaryJanice Davidson because I read the fourth in the series from the library years ago and really enjoyed it. I came across them in the Kindle Store and remembered how much I'd laughed, so I bought the first three to be going on with. These are comedy urban fantasy, I suppose, since they take place in an urban setting and are about vampires. There is also (I think - but I'm not at all a connoisseur of the genre) more than a hint of chick lit thrown in there too. These are definitely the girliest books I have enjoyed!


  1. Ooh,I'm looking forward to your reviews. I have a PILE of books to get through at the moment and I'm kind of stalled on Cloud Atlas. Which reminds me, I should book swap today!

  2. The MaryJanice Davidson books look interesting! I'm going to give American Gods a try. I heard a Guardian Books podcast of Gaiman talking about the book at the Edinburgh Book Festival, and it sounded really cool. Great book picks.

  3. I LOVE the Gallagher Girls series. I reread the first three books a while ago and then I read Only the Good Spy Young a couple weeks ago. I can't wait for the next book!

  4. So much to love here! I love Neil Gaiman. I enjoyed the first 2 Gallagher Girls books (and recommend them to my nieces). Those Undead books sound great - I'll look them up.


  5. Great recommendations. Happy to connect with you in the write campaign. Now a follower on your blog and Twitter :).

  6. So I'm not the only one with a Kindle loaded to the hilt with reads? And a bookcase creaking at the joints!

    Love Neil Gaiman, not read that one. Very tempted to add it to the wish list. Looking forward to more of your recommended reads.

  7. Nice set of books this week. I like the Undead series but the last book just didn't do it for me :o(
    Happy reading,
    Book Sniffers Anonymous


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