By the Seaside with Sanditon events

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

What a [Steam]punk

Scott Westerfeld came to Books & Books on Sunday afternoon to promote the first book in his new steampunk trilogy, Leviathan.

I have yet to read the Uglies series, though it has been on my “I will get around to it one day” list for a while, but after reading a blurb for Leviathan and seeing the wonderful book trailer, I knew I wanted to get to this one soon.

When I learned that Westerfeld was going to be making an appearance, I bought a copy and marked it down on my calendar.

The event was one of the most interesting ones I have attended, and they’ve had some interesting YA events. Mr. Westerfeld of the steampunk masterpiece presented a highly entertaining lecture on the history of illustrations in books and the idea of emergent technologies at the turn of the century… and deadly dart pooping birds. He was funny and informative and the images, many of which will be published in the companion guide to the series, were amazing.

Here are some pictures from the event (click to enlarge):

A Royal Evening

This past Saturday, Books and Books hosted the final Princess Diaries event ever, sending the series out with a royal (and chocolatey) farewell. The girls from YAthenaeum precided over the ceremony and introduced Meg Cabot, who spoke for about an hour, sharing very funny personal stories about her days as a manager for one of the dorms at NYU and answering questions from the audience. She may be one of the most personable authors that I have gone to see (and one of the best haircuts! Just had to add that. Hair envy.).

Of course, a booksigning followed the event, so I was able to get my copy of Princess Forever signed 🙂

Then there was the decadent chocolate fountain from Peterbrooke’s…
enter gratuitous chocolate picture

It’s book fair time!

bf2The Miami International Book Fair is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and seems to have drawn quite a lot of book lovers if the “Sold Out” bookstalls that I saw yesterday are any indication.

I started going to the fair four years ago, so I knew that I had to set a budget for myself unless I wanted to end up overspending on books. I told myself I would only spend $25 – enough to pay my entrance, have something to eat, and buy one gotta-have-it book. Did I go over? Yes… but I couldn’t let the opportunity pass!

My trip downtown started with a train ride and one happy little green grasshopper.


I got to the fair and nearly got in for free because the lady at the ticket booth thought I was underage 😛 , but I am an honest bibliophile and paid my way.

I did some browsing first, after all, I needed to be choosy if I was limiting myself to one book, then I took a stroll through the International Village, which was hosting Egypt, Argentina, Brazil, and Spain this year.

I spent some of my lunch money in Egypt, on a tiny glass perfume bottle and some baklava, and went in for a surprise impulse buy in Brazil – it was a surprise because I don’t understand a word of Portuguese, and the lady only knew how to say “Three dollars.”


What was inside the mystery parcel? A cookie. I have to admit, I was totally suckered in by the wrapping.

Eventually, I found my one book at a used book stall, a collection of Colette’s Claudine novels that was in decent condition, though it obviously spent way too much time in someone’s car.

And then I found the book that undermined my tight budget… a 1936 copy of Gone with the Wind that I found for $35 in the Antiquarian section of the fair. Admittedly, it’s not a first printing, and it doesn’t have a dust-jacket, but it’s GwTW! And it’s in great condition for such an old text – no obvious signs of damage, the spin is intact, the pages are not loose, just the usual signs of age.

So here are my carefully selected buys…