Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Music Review: SJ Tucker and Tricky Pixie

I recently discovered a wonderful musical artist.

SJ Tucker - folksy-pagan-faery stuff. It's really good. She has some music to be listened to as companions to THE ORPHAN TALES: IN THE NIGHT GARDEN and IN THE CITIES OF COIN AND SPICE and PALIMPSEST by Catherynne Valente (highly recommended author, btw). Her voice is amazing. In addition to those, her albums are: Haphazard, Tangles, Sirens, and Blessings. Blessings has some amazing pagan songs, and Sirens has the Wendy Trilogy.

Also, check out Tricky Pixie - pagan rock. They're really good. Some of the songs are kinda silly, but mostly good. And a few songs not for kids. The lead singer is SJ Tucker, and the other woman is Betsy Tinney (previously of Gaia Consort), which is how I originally heard of this group. Gaia Consort is one of my favorites. Anyway, you can listen to the entire album (and also purchase digitally) by clicking the link below.


I think tracks 3, 5, and 11 are my favorites. 2 and 6 are silly. 12 is hysterical.

Also, check out Gaia Consort. Their albums are Evolve, Secret Voices, Vitus Dance, and Gaia Circles, the last one being my favorite.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Book Review: Catalyst

This book was amazing. It was so good I don't have words for it. Laurie Halse Anderson is an amazing writer. SPEAK was incredible, and CATALYST follows a different student from the same school. We do get a glimpse of Melinda and it's good to know how's she's doing after the stuff in her book. I look forward to more books from this author. TWISTED and WINTERGIRLS are both on my TBR (to be read) list.

Book Review: The Wyrm King, The Wolves in the Walls, and The Blueberry Girl

I just finished read THE WYRM KING. It's the final book the in the Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles series. I'm sad that it's over. There are no plans for anymore Spiderwick books. I love the poem at the end. The last stanza of the poem is as follows: Please keep a pen with you to write, a pad, a brush, and ink. Because your faerie tale just might... start sooner than you think.

And while I was at Politics and Prose earlier today I read THE WOLVES IN THE WALLS while Alexander flipped through a Star Wars book. It's a picture book written by Neil Gaiman. I had read reviews of it on Amazon and was annoyed at people freaking out saying that this isn't a kids book because it's scary. The artist is Dave McKean, the same guy that illustrates The Sandman graphic novels. I'm honestly not crazy about his art. It's not bad... it's just not my style. Anyway, I was expecting a scary story, and while I can see it scaring kids under 3, I found myself laughing several times. It was a cute story.

I also read THE BLUEBERRY GIRL a while back. It was also written by Gaiman, but illustrated by Charles Vess. Sometimes I like his work, sometimes not. I loved the illustrations in this book. The story was a poem written for a friend of Neil Gaiman's, Tori Amos, when she was pregnant. There were also people on Amazon saying this book was not for kids because it makes no sense. It's a very sweet poem.

If you take one thing from this... Don't trust Amazon reviewers.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Book Review: World of Faerie Deluxe

Up in the top left corner of my blog you'll see my original Wendy Froud dolls. They've been my prized possessions since I got them (FaerieCon 2007 and FaerieCon 2008). But now I have a third prized possession. The one thing I wanted more than anything is an original Brian Froud piece of art. While my goal is to get a big piece that is in color, this is almost as good.

With the WORLD OF FAERIE Deluxe book, you get a couple of things. There's stuff added in the actual book. You get another book by Brian Froud (my favorite faery artist). There is a small sculpture of the green man, based on his work. And an original Brian Froud sketch. All of this comes in a clothbound portfolio. I have a few of his sketches that he did when he signed my books. But nothing this detailed. I took a picture of it and you can see it below. I need to have it framed because it is really amazing.

Book Review: Shiver

This was an amazing book. It was written by the fabulous Maggie Stiefvater, who also wrote LAMENT and BALLAD (comes out in a week!!!). This book basically fits under YA paranormal romance. And it was really believeable.

I identified a lot with Grace. She was a very strong heroine. She was in love with Sam, but it didn't weaken her. She wasn't whiney and pining for him when he wasn't there. And Sam... he was incredible. A little bit too perfect... besides the obvious. He's a werewolf. But he was sweet and sensitive and kind. I really hope there are guys like this out there. But, sadly, I would imagine they've already been taken.

Even though this was clearly a romance, it wasn't mushy. There was some action and adventure. Some suspense and mystery. There were happy parts and sad parts. Overall, a well rounded book. You should definitely pick it up. One of the top 5 best I've read this year!

Meeting Authors: Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi

Today, Alex and I met Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, authors of The Spiderwick Chronicles at Politics and Prose in DC. We had a great time.

I had met Holly three times in the past. She's very cool. But this time I got to meet Tony DiTerlizzi also. He co-writes the Spiderwick books with her and does all of the illustrations. He's a great artist and sketched out little figures in one book per person. He sketched me a dragon in my KENNY AND THE DRAGON book.

Alex came with. He had the first Spiderwick book signed with a pic of Timbletack the brownie. He really liked both of them. Holly said her one talent besides writing is touching her nose with her tongue. Alex can do that, too, so he thought she was great. Then he admitted to her he can pick his nose with his tongue (11-year-old boys *eyeroll*), and Tony said he was brave admitting something like that in public.

Holly did a reading from THE WYRM KING, the latest Spiderwick book. It's also going to be the last. :( She said THE WHITE CAT is the first book in a YA trilogy that comes out next spring. Tony will be working on his Meno books, which is about a space elf and their futuristic. They are for kids, but they look cute.

Alex asked if they were making the new Spiderwick books into a movie. They said probably not because the studio wants to use the three kids from the first series. Not the new three. I don't see why that would make a difference in whether people wanted to come see it or not. And minor spoiler... the three kids from the original are in it, they just aren't main characters.

As for VALIANT movie news. It was optioned, but doesn't look like it'll happen. But who knows... someone might pick it up in the future. I told her it was my favorite book, and I really loved Ravus. She said she loved Ravus, too. I want to see him on my screen. Also, we need more faery movies.