in which I want all the books… and blue hair

Yesterday I attended the bookish event to beat all bookish events… the Miami Book Fair International! Which means all the bargain books and bookish paraphernalia my heart desires. I wait for this day every year and always feel infinitely satisfied afterwards.

And this year was no exception. Here are some highlights.

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Penguin Classics was giving away books AND tote bags. How can you beat that? I love me some totes!!!

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I got to meet Holly Black! This makes 2013 the best year for author events 🙂

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And look at all the stuff I got for under $40!! And some not pictured because they are oh so secret present books.

So, yes, I ❤ my local book fair.

Now, to wait for the library’s annual book sale…

bookish haul

Book Fair time come again and this year’s selection of vendors (and events) proved to be a good one 🙂 . Started my visit with some tasty macarons and stumbled across a great bargain stall… soon followed by several more bargain stalls.

book fair 2011 haul

Books await

It’s Book Fair day! Though I am trying to restrain my book buying habit, today is the last day of the Miami International Book Fair and I cannot resist its lure. I will stick to a budget. I will not buy more than a couple of books. Must remain calm…

Booklovers Secret Santa 2010

It’s back! The return of the Booklovers Secret Santa–hosted by The Neverending Shelf 🙂

I so enjoyed participating in last year’s exchange, I can’t wait for this year’s!

 

Bleak House Read-along

And in another attempt to give Dickens a go… I have joined Amanda’s Bleak House Read-along over at The Zen Leaf.

‘Celebrating Georgette Heyer’ at Austenprose

Join Laurel Ann, of Austenprose, and guests for a month of Georgette Heyer, starting on Sunday, August 1st.

‘Celebrating Georgette Heyer’ at Austenprose – August 1st – 31st, 2010 « Austenprose.

By the Seaside with Sanditon events

The Sanditon group read event has commenced at Austenprose! See the event schedule here.

43rd Bookworms Carnival: Cupid & Psyche

While working on my master’s thesis, I became heavily immersed in mythology, fairy tales, and folklore. When Nymeth at things mean a lot announced that the 43rd Bookworms Carnival would be on mythologies and retellings, I knew that I had to participate.

Cupid and Psyche. Annie Swynnerton, 1891.

One of the myths that I became particularly attached to was the story of Cupid and Psyche.

Cupid and Psyche first appeared in Lucius Apuleius’ The Golden Ass (2nd century C.E.) and is considered one of the first literary myths (or fairy tales). The story is overheard by Lucius, the golden ass, as he travels to find a way to break the enchantment that keeps him in animal form.

The Tale

When Venus’s temple is neglected because her devotees are admiring the mortal princess Psyche, the vengeful goddess orders her son Cupid, god of love,  to strike the beautiful girl with one of this golden arrows, so that she may fall in love with a hideous creature that will be set before her. Devoted son that he is, Cupid does as ordered but falls in love with Psyche himself. Suddenly, things get complicated.

Unwilling to lose Psyche, Cupid asks Zephyr to whisk his beloved away to his palace, where she will be wed to him in secret. The problem is how to keep it all from Venus?

Cupid marries Psyche, concealing his identity from her by cover of darkness and forbidding her from ever looking upon him. When Psyche’s jealous sisters learn of Psyche’s felicity, they convince her that she has married a beast too hideous to reveal himself.

Tempted by the mystery, Psyche lights a lamp while her husband sleeps and sees Cupid, who wakes as a drop of oil falls from the lamp.

All sorts of havoc ensues when Cupid flies off, leaving Psyche to deal with the fallout of his mother’s discovery. Determined to find her husband, Psyche successfully overcomes a set of Herculean challenges set by Venus, showing Venus that she’s more than just a pretty face.

Much of the criticism on Cupid and Psyche focuses on the matter of curiosity and the forbidden. Psyche is told to not look upon Cupid–What kind of power dynamic is that in a marriage?! But, behold, female curiosity at its best.

Like the story of Eve and the apple, you can read Psyche’s transgression in several ways. I choose to read it as Psyche’s desire to know. It’s a very powerful notion, to think of Psyche challenging Cupid’s mandate and taking control of the situation.

Psyche’s determination and steadfastness as she completes Venus’s impossible tasks reveal her mettle as a heroine; she undergoes a Hero’s Journey of her own and emerges triumphant. She’s no damsel in distress, Psyche.

While researching the story, I also had the opportunity to read Julius Lester’s amusing retelling of Cupid and Psyche:

Cupid: a tale of love and desire

It has been a while since I read it, but I do recommend it as an original take on the tale or as a starting point for research on Cupid and Psyche (Lester includes a great list of references at the back of the book).

You can find several versions of Cupid and Psyche online, but if you want to find an inexpensive copy with some decent explanatory notes, I recommend the Penguin Epics version. This is the one that I used when writing on the story.

Book Lovers Secret Santa

Today, I had a wonderful day and then I came home to find an even more wonderful surprise… my Book Lovers Secret Santa package had arrived! I love mail and I love books and I am so thankful for my Secret Santa 🙂 🙂 🙂

It hesitated for a moment, but decided to open it now rather than wait for Christmas… yes, I’m impatient, but my excitement could not be contained! Inside, I found a candy cane tube filled with Hershey’s chocolates (I’m a chocoholic, these will disappear quickly), a very pretty blue card, and two books:

Edith Pattou’s East, which I had been eyeing in the library just this morning, and a sweet little purple book titled Jane Austen’s Little Instruction Book, featuring highly edifying quotes penned by that gentle lady.

secret santa surprise

This was an incredibly thoughtful surprise 🙂 Thank you Secret Santa!

on a side note… it’s snowing on WordPress.

Books Lovers Secret Santa is hosted by The Neverending Shelf.