Just came back from the SlamU! Finals here and ... Not-So-Bebe-Girl Autumn made it through the eliminations and gets to be on the Cleveland team in San Francisco for the Brave New Voices competition (catch it on HBO in July)! Woot! What a nail-biting experience, and I wasn't even the one on the stage! I'm totally happy to see all of her rehearsal and work pay off this way! I will probably post a video of her second poem "Soldier" for Poetry Corner on Sunday.
On to the Read-a-thon. I'm currently reading (clicking cover will take you to the Goodreads page):
Page 69: "Steady on, old man," whispered Conan Doyle, skewering a shard of kipper and glancing nervously towards the waiters.
Oscar continued, unabashed. "He is tall - six feet at least. Slender. Supple. Lithe. He moves with extraordinary grace, like a dancer - or a panther. He holds his head high. His profile is perfection. His hair is jet-black, his eyes are cobalt-blue, his skin as white as alabaster."
Bram Stoker laid down his knife and fork. "He doesn't sound like a vampire to me," he announced, wiping his lips on his linen napkin. "Vampires are swarthy, not pale. They gorge on blood. Their complexions are ruddy." He pushed his chair away from the table and turned his ample frame towards Oscar. "And they are very unlikely to find a berth above a Portuguese wineshop in Soho. The vintner and his wife are bound to live on a diet of garlic and Malmsey - and vampires have an aversion to garlic, if not to fortified wine."
He laughed jovially and scratched his chin through his ample, untrimmed red beard. Stoker is a big, shambling, man, with an amiable, booming voice and a heartwarming, open face.
"How do you know all this?" I asked.
"Vampires are my passion," he answered, turning his bright-blue eyes towards me. "While Oscar pursues the youth and beauty of Soho, I pursue the blood-suckers of Transylvania. Each to his own."
"Bram is writing a book," explained Oscar, leaning back from the table and waving the smoke of his cigarette above his head. "He has been writing it since we were boys in Dublin."
"I have been researching it a while," said Bram, ignoring Oscar. "I haven't started writing yet. But the plan is fixed now. And the title, too. The Undead. That's what they are, vampires - the undead who feed upon the living."
Oscar raised his glass of brandy towards his old friend. "Tell us more, Bram. Tell us everything. That is why we're here."
--Page 69: "What are we doing today?" Sunday is the one day of the week the government office is closed.
"Some friends of mine called me for a cricket match, if you don't mind. I'll play terribly, but it will be good to see them. Friends from high school, I haven't seen some of them in ten years. My mom can take you out shopping or something, if you'd like."
Somer stands on the balcony looking out to the dull ocean, its gray waves lapping against the boardwalk. It is hot and muggy, but at least there is a respite from the rain. On the first day of clear weather in weeks, Krishnan has gone off by himself. Somer feels suffocated by the thought of staying inside again today, and even more put off by the prospect of spending it with his mother. She makes up her mind to go for a walk by herself, to get away from the stultifying pressure of this flat.
Stepping outside the building, walking past the tall gates and away from the watchful eyes of the doorman gives Somer a sense of freedom. Churchgate Station is up ahead at the end of the block, and on the opposite corner stands a sandwich shop advertising BURGERS on a placard out front. The thought of a burger after two straight weeks of Indian food is enticing. She walks up to the order window and says, "Two hamburgers please, with cheese." She'll eat one now and keep the other for later, something to break the monotony of curries and rice.
"No ham, madam. Mutton burger only."
"Mutton?" As in, lamb?
"Yes, very tasty, madam. You will like, guaranteed."
"Okay," She sighs. "Two mutton burgers please."
The burger is nothing like what she's used to, but Somer has to admit, it tastes pretty good. Feeling pleasantly full, she heads toward the ocean boardwalk, which has now become crowded with street
BOOKS READ (click the cover to go to the Goodreads page):
Last 254 pages
Last 471 pages
My Book Retreat's Mini-Challenge is the Page 69 Test, so I've included page 69's of the new books here. The premise of the Page 69 Test is that a reader can turn to page 69 of any book and use that page to judge whether or not they will like the rest of the book.
I decided to actually read page 69 of the new books BEFORE I started reading the whole book, so I could get a clearer first impression (reading ahead against goes so much against my grain, but I thought I'd try it this time).
My first impressions of Page 69's:
Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders: OK; it has Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, AND Bram Stoker ... all in the same room? Psht, of COURSE I want to read more!
The Secret Daughter - Kind of snoozy, really. All I get is that Somer is in the unfamiliar environment of India, and that she doesn't like her mother-in-law OR Indian food in general.
Read-a-thon progress:Total books completed: 4
Total pages read: 2096 pages
Read-a-thon Goal: Read 5 from my personal TBR pile progress so far:
1. Changeless by Gail Carriger
2. Blameless by Gail Carriger
Next to be read: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Woot! Are YOU participating? If you are, please leave a link to your progress post so I can come and cheer you on!