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October 2012 Recap – Part 1

I apologize in advance, this is a doozy! So much happened in October.  I planned on it being one really long post, but after my weekend book purchases, I finally decided to break it into two posts, but there are LOTS of pictures! The five parts of the two posts are: personal update, quick Boston Book Festival recap, Literary Others recap, new books purchased (entirely way too many), and last but not least my regular monthly challenge recap.The first three are in this post and the last two are in the post tomorrow.

But first check out this awesome tweet:

Yes – that is ‘the’ Michael Scott, author of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series. Someone tweeted my review to him and he apparently read it and tweeted me. You have to LOVE social media, sometimes. I’m still grinning about this.

Personal Update
As said above, it’s been a hell of a month. First with the happy news, I’m midway through my third week at my new job and I love it. Not only is it in a beautiful part of Boston/Brookline (left), but I’ve been given a lot of freedom and independence to build a student giving and young alumni program and to offer input for other things as well. I’m excited about the next few months and am really looking forward to the future!

I’ve also spent some time volunteering and supporting my local library! We went to a benefit at a local restaurant and I won a $50 LLBean gift card! (Bought a new belt and someone a present with it.) I also volunteered to help set up the book sale (schlepping lots and lots of boxes full of books) and I helped break it down as well. It was great because I got to peruse a lot of the books and I had my eye on a few, but showed some restraint 😀

On a sadder note, Tom and I have gone our separate ways. It’s been just over a month and I’m going to leave it at that. We’re trying to stay friends and I don’t see why it won’t work,  and I of course still have my moments of sadness (and rage), but hey what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger right? Thankfully I have the new job (and my awesome blog) to throw myself into and have never felt so relaxed and ready for whatever comes my way. I’m looking forward to spending time bettering me and seeing who I am when I come out on the other side of all this.

2012 Boston Book Festival
I’m not sure what it was, but this year’s festival just didn’t get me as excited as year’s past. I’m not sure if it’s because of the ho-hum experience I had last year or the lackluster exhibitors this year, but I just didn’t come away with as much of a high as previous years. That being said, I thought it was great and I absolutely ADORED the poster/program design (to the right). I attended three panels:

  • The Hobbit: There and Back Again – A discussion on the 75th anniversary of its original publication about the novel itself and its original artwork. I really hope I can squeeze a re-read in before the film comes out, but more importantly I have every intention of re-reading it with a copy of Corey Olsen’s Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit in hand, which is a breakdown chapter by chapter of the novel.
  • Great Brits and Books – An interesting discussion sponsored by the British Consulate. It touched on Austen, Dickens, Victorian literature, and Peter Pan. It was a little heavy on Jane Austen, but I enjoyed it. I am looking forward to reading Rachel Brownstein’s Why Jane Austen? which considers the many faces of Austen: heroine, moralist, satirist, feminist and romantic to name a few. I’m also looking forward to reading J.M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy (which I’ve never read)!
  • Edith Wharton: Real and Imagined – I chose this panel on a whim because I remember reading Ethan Frome in High School and not really paying attention to it and as I’ve gotten older I’ve become more and more interested in re-reading those books. After this panel I’ve realized I need to read The Age of Innocence. I’m most excited about reading Francesca Segal’s book The Innocents which Segal uses to recasts ‘Innocence’ in a modern-day Jewish community in London. Not only was she charming, but her writing sounded amazing and I can’t wait to read it!

But what is most impressive – I didn’t purchase a single book. Primarily because, as usual, there were mostly hard back books for $25+ I couldn’t afford, so they went on my list of books to check out from the library at some point. Plus I’ve got about $150 worth of gift cards and Groupons that I’ve purchased recently to spend on books!

The Literary Others Synthesis
Muwhaahaahaa – and you thought I posted my last one of these! Just kidding! I had a great time participating in this event and really enjoyed the books I read. I can’t believe it only lasted a month because it feels like I’ve been reading LGBT books and picking out LGBT characters forever (which I have been really). 😀 I somehow, through no actual planning of my own, managed to touch on some of the major aspects of the alphabet soup (LGBTI) and I held my first give away! (And two more amazing people out there couldn’t be found – congrats again Heather and Beth!) Here’s a quick breakdown of the LGBTI as I saw it:

Many of the above books could fit within multiple genres, this is just a quick break down. I clearly over read on the gay male spectrum, but interestingly enough I had many more female authors than male authors. As I said, I enjoyed the challenge and will continue to read LGBT fiction as I’ve always done.

Keep an eye out for tomorrow’s Part 2 post!

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16 thoughts on “October 2012 Recap – Part 1”

  1. Sounds like you’ve had a whirlwind of a month! I’ve noticed there are quite a few of us book bloggers who work in higher ed–I guess it’s bookish enough to appeal to us. 🙂 I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying your new job.

    I wish we could have The Literary Others event last a little longer. There are still so many books that I want to read that I didn’t get to. I finished two but am happy to squeeze a third one in before Thursday.

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    1. It’s funny with volunteering at the library recently I’ve met so many people working on Information and Library Science degrees I’m getting jealous. But I’m definitely loving the job and when my one year passes I can start taking classes which will be exciting!

      A reprise could be made in Feb, all you’d need would be a host in the UK as they celebrate LGBT history month in February and not October.

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  2. So much to comment on here, Geoff, but I’ll stick with the basics. I, took had an author comment on one of my reviews, and it was very exciting! We sometimes think we’re sending our work out there into vast nothingness or at least only to our loyal friends. 🙂 Good luck on your new job as well as your book journeys. I’m putting The Innocents on my TBR list.

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    1. Thanks Jennie! It’s funny how even though I know people read this, I still write like I’m talking to myself and sending it into the great wide open. And then to have someone forward it to someone like Michael Scott to read, it was like mind boggling, but awesome!

      I’m really excited about The Innocents. I’m not sure if my friends grew up in the same place as the author in London but I wouldn’t be In the least bit surprised.

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    1. Well I still ended up with 13+ books. Thankfully three of them were for my sister, but that’s still WAY too many more than I needed to bring home, but I’m proud to say a lot were on my long er list of books to read.

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  3. What a busy month! Sorry I’ve been off the grid with keeping up with you, so a belated congratulations on the new job and I’m glad to hear you enjoy it! And I’m sorry to hear about you and Tom.

    I read Ethan Frome twice in high school. Once for a paper my junior year, and the second time it was part of my English curriculum for senior year. I find myself wanting to re-read books from when I was in school, too! (Obviously, we want to read them now that we’re not forced to, right?)

    I added the Nicholas Flamel series to my “To Read” queue on goodreads. (Everytime I hear Nicholas Flamel, I think of Harry Potter…is that bad?)

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    1. Haahaa no worries! Thanks for the congratulations and life goes on right?

      Of course that’s why we want to read them! I’m really looking forward to it with the ridiculous number of classics I’ve fallen in love with recently I can only hope there as inspiring – not to mention the sauciness Wharton apparently held in her own life!

      You should definitely check out that series, it’s brilliant I’m already planning a good back-to-back re-read next year once they’re all out in paperback! (Even the two short stories are good,and might be good intros to see if you’d like his writing.) And it’s definitely not bad, that’s probably why I picked up the books in the first place, well that and the awesome title 😀

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      1. Excellent! Glad to hear your enthusiasm on the Nicholas Flamel books. Will look into the short stories.

        As for classics, I’m still working my way around some…some I enjoy very much, and others I don’t quite get. c’est la vie, right? 🙂

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  4. I am so jealous you went to a book festival!!!

    Wallace at Unputdownables is doing a Hobbit read-a-long where she promises based on the schedule we will be done before the movie comes out! You should join!

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    1. I totally should – but my goal is to finish as many of my challenge books as soon as possible so I don’t have to think about them anymore! I’m planning on reading it the first week of December so It’ll still be fresh! (But I will check out the read-a-long.)

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  5. I’m jealous of the book festival. I love those. I’m already looking forward to the London book fair this April. And Boston/Brookline–my old stomping grounds. I used to live near Cleveland Circle. I’m sorry to hear the Tom news. That’s never easy and I wish you the best. Enjoy your job!

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    1. It’s been a fascinating evolution of the festival and I’m always interested to see where it goes each year. Next year is the 5th and they’re hopefully planning some awesome stuff. I never made it to any festivals in the UK, but I definitely have plans to one day return for the Hay on Wye festival (the more times I put it in writing the more likely it will actually be…or that’s what I tell myself).

      It’s not easy, but it’s his loss 😀 The new job definitely helps!

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  6. Sorry to hear about the breakup, but it sounds like it’s at least going as well as can be expected!

    There’s a large annual book sale here that I plan to volunteer at next year, but I really fear what it’s going to do to my to-read list…

    That Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit looks interesting. Apparently the author also has a free podcast where he examines all Tolkien’s books? I’ll have to look into both…

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    1. Thanks! It was easier than I thought it would be not to buy too many books – the trick is to pretend they only take cash and only take a certain amount each time you’re there! (Or at least that worked for me.)

      He did mention the podcast a couple of times and he was pretty personable so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s pretty good. I might have to check it out as well when I switch to Tolkien later this year.

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