Posts Tagged ‘lists’

14th January
2009
written by Steph
This just in: The Morning News has revealed the contenders for the 2009 Tournament of Books.  For those of you not in the know, this is an annual tournament held by TMN in which some of the year's "best" books compete in a March Madness NCAA type fashion.  Two books face off each week, with the winner of that bout proceeding to the next round.  How do these battles go down?  Each week has a designated reader (generally an author or writer) who reads both books (in theory), and then declares a winner based on his or her own personal set of criteria.  Other than a penultimate Zombie round (in which previously voted fan favorites get a chance to rise again and do battle once more), in order to make it to the final round, a given book must beat each of its adversaries in each round in order to win the prize.  And what is the prize? Well, the author of the winning novel is sent a live rooster, so there's that.  But for you the reader, the whole tournament is a prize, because not only are the weekly commentaries both amusing and informative, but you get a fancy new reading list!  Past winners have been The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Accidental by Ali Smith (just barely...), and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. As I said though, it's not just the overall winner of the tournament that necessarily shines in a contest such as this.  Indeed, one of my favourite reads of last year, Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris, was an entry (but not winner) in the tournament.  I came to the tourney late last year, and read about most of the books after their rounds had come and gone.  By the end, I read two of the books on the list, and I still enjoyed the whole thing.  But this year, I want to play along!  And I encourage you to do so too!  Here's the list of books that will duke it out: (more…)
7th January
2009
written by Steph
The first step is admitting I have a problem, right?

The first step is admitting I have a problem, right?

Sigh.  As much as I resolve that my most recent trip to McKay's will be my last until I've made a sizeable dent in that bounty (if not all the other books that languish on our shelves... and floors, as you will see!), it never is.  When it comes to buying books, I just can't seem to quit.  And McKay's really does me no favors, given its fabulous selection AND the low prices.  I reckon that church rummage and library sales might be a tad cheaper, but as I've said before, when a "splurge" means plonking down $5, I'll pay a bit extra for the convenience of being able to buy books whenever I want! Just 1 day into the new year, and Tony and I found ourselves at McKay's, as we had amassed enough of a read books and played video games stack to warrant a trade-in.  Our trip was momentous for several reasons.  First, due to the sizeable trade-in amountn we were awarded, we walked out of McKay's without spending a single penny (in fact, we walked away with credit towards our next spree!). Second, I think you'll notice that this time round, Tony actively contributed to our spending by selecting several books himself.  I love when I have a partner in crime! Without further ado, onto the books! (Click to Enlarge) (more…)
23rd December
2008
written by Steph
This is what restraint looks like.  And true love!

This is what restraint looks like. And true love!

Books that is!  This latest haul is actually from last weekend, when Tony and I made a quick stop at McKay's (where else?).  This time the damage was relatively small, only setting us back $30, which really isn't too bad when you consider all of the loot we picked up (13 books total!)!  Of course I love the prices at McKay, but the other thing that I really appreciate about them is that they really have a wonderful and broad selection.  On the off chance they don't have a particular book I'm looking for on one trip, it's extremely unlikely they won't have it the next time round.  One reason why I think I would have a hard time transitioning to ebooks (even if the Kindle is indeed brilliant), is because I really am deeply attuned to the aesthetic qualities of each book I read - I do judge books by their covers, for one thing.  If I make it past that, and flip the book over and the back blurb intrigues, me, only then do I venture into the book proper.  And here it's critical that the paper be of relatively good stock, but even more important is that the fonts used are clean and not too heavy.  Have you ever picked up a book where the type is too thick and feels almost smudgy or blurred?  I hate that!  It generally makes for an unpleasant reading experience, and I wind up find poorly printed books more difficult to read, on both a perceptual and emotional level.  Really, reading is a very visceral experience for me!  Anyway, this tangent was merely to convey that at McKay's the constant influx of stock means that if I find a book I want but it's perhaps not an edition that is most desirable or evocative to me, then I generally don't feel bad about putting it back and waiting for another copy that does suit my fancy.  Their books are generally in like-new or lightly used condition, and they do seem to actually take into account the condition of the book when pricing it, which I appreciate.  I've actually begun to accrue a large collection of random book marks, from previous book owners who evidently didn't cashed in on a particular book that they left unfinished. In depth analysis and discussion of each column and individual books after the jump... (more…)
2nd November
2008
written by Steph
This weekend Tony & I pillaged my favorite used bookstore in town, McKay's, and per usual came away with a boatload (or boxload, to be more accurate) of books. Mitigating the dent in our bank accounts was the fact that we also used this excursion as an opportunity to purge some of the less desirable books and dvds from our shelves (including items from both categories on the opposite end of the spectrum, those being so desirable that we had duplicates of them upon merging our respective libraries). McKay's took all of the dvds we proffered up, save for my mint condition copy of From Justin to Kelly. Shocking, I know! They also declined at least one of our books, though we didn't actually get those rejects returned to us, because given our tiny apartment, space on our shelves is the more valued commodity. Anyway, I think they probably figured they couldn't get much for Tony's badly worn copy of The Fountainhead, but who knows? Perhaps emboldened by our rather generous trade coupon, I went a bit wild when it came to selecting new books to bring home, and we consequently wound up hauling this stash home (I promise that our Rory, seen posing with the books is not a devil dog, despite what this picture might suggest. Also, clearly it is Tony who is the photographer, not I!): (more…)
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