Tag Archives: Behemoth

#fridayreads take me away

22nd April 2011

#fridayreads take me away is a weekly meme to celebrate the start of the weekend and the glorious day of reading whatever the heck you want. Want to know more? Read the original post where I explain why you should join in with what you read on the weekend. Want to write your own post? *Steal* my button. Have your own #fridayreads take me away post? Link up below! Happy reading.

You know, to me, the ultimate read for a Friday accomplishes two goals: a. it takes me away (thus, the meme title) and b. it requires little in the way of thought. Not that I don’t love thinking. I do. [See yesterday’s review of Galore.] However, Friday afternoon and evening I selfishly claim as “me” time. Last Friday I stuck to my guns and took my copy of Real Simple and had my pedicure. This week is Good Friday, so I will be at church with the fam in the afternoon. Plus, work is still progressing on the bookshelves, but YOU, I hope, will be reading.

So what do I recommend you read this week?

To be perfectly honest, I have an ulterior motive. I really really want you to read Leviathan. I read this and reviewed it here way back in October.

Westerfeld creates an alternative history to World War I, full of steam-powered machines and biologically-altered creatures, who assist in war. It’s steampunk – set in the Victorian era, it’s fantasy at its most believable.

Leviathan is about a young man destined for great things and a young woman prohibited from dreaming of great things because of her gender. It is also about how each goes about forging his or her own way, regardless of society. Fantastic fun.

And I really want you to read it because I plan on reading….

I am almost embarrassed to tell you how long I have been intending to read this sequel. Leviathan is a real cliffhanger, but I guess since I had to wait (all of two weeks) for Behemoth to come out, my excitement waned. However, this is a perfect book for a Friday, and I am really anxious to start it and re-enter the lives of Deryn and Alek. Plus, if you read the first, I can tell you what I think about the second, and it will be a whole thing. Ya know? So get cracking.

What are you up to this beautiful day, and what are you reading for Friday Reads? I’d love to hear all about it and check out your blog!

jenn aka the picky girl

A festival of books? It's a festivus for the rest of us!

19th October 2010

Friday afternoon, I ditched the office, the pup, and Beaumont, Texas to go with my parents to the Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas. We went last year and had such a great time, we decided it had to be an annual event.

I had plans, people, big plans: I had my panels mapped out. I booked a hotel close to the site with breakfast included so we wouldn’t have to run around hunting for a Starbucks. My dad, on the other hand, had no clue. Yet somehow he made it to seven panels, while I only made it to four. Ah, beginner’s luck.

The four panels I did make it to? Incredible. Plus, I got to meet up with some other Texas book bloggers and end the moratorium on book buying. Throw in a little honky-tonkin, and you’re looking at one exhausted, but pleased picky girl.


Julia Glass

Luckily, I was close to finishing her newest book The Widower’s Tale. In fact, I brought my library book into the Capitol with me to read before the panel started. (Review coming later this week.) Ms. Glass was not all that inventive a speaker, and I was a bit disappointed. The moderator was excellent, though, and asked a couple questions I certainly had about the book. For example, the novel is told from the perspective of four men. Was that a conscious decision, and was it difficult to write from the male perspective? Ms. Glass answered it was most certainly intentional; she apparently feels very comfortable writing in the male voice, though she did admit the 20-year-old perspective was difficult to write (a complaint I had about the dialogue in the book). Here’s the panel and a pic of my mom and I before it got started:

Scott Westerfeld

Fantastic. Funny. Charming. Scott Westerfeld rocked – plain and simple. He really gave the sort of lecture I strive to give to my students – informative, humorous, practical, and interesting. He talked a bit about his series Uglies, but as I cannot speak to those books, I’ll focus on what I was there for – Leviathan and Behemoth. Westerfeld spoke about where the idea for the books came from. He has a blog, and his fans post art inspired by his books. When he found the Japanese version of his first series had drawings, he was a bit taken aback; his fans were jealous. As he said (and I paraphrase), there’s nothing like an oppressed teenager….

Westerfeld pondered why we, as Americans, avoid illustrations in adult books. Why do we reserve illustrations for the young and then take them away at a certain point? Why do we assume illustrations narrow the imagination instead of expanding it? So with Leviathan, he found illustrator Keith Thompson, and they collaborated quite nicely. He says the illustrations “allow for alternate story lines” and that if you look closely, the illustrator works these in carefully. The challenge, though, is making the story active enough – “with illustrations, characters have to move around, so the drawings can change.” Otherwise, the scenes become repetitive. He also had to think differently in terms of setting the stage. Keith would send him sketches, lacking a couple characters Westerfeld had in the scene. When asked about this decision, Keith would tell him it looked too crowded. So Westerfeld revised.

Westerfeld ended the talk with questions, and my personal favorite was when he was asked if he would venture into graphic novels. The answer? An enticing ‘yes.’

In between Saturday’s panels, I met up with some great Texas book bloggers, including Iliana at bookgirl’s nightstand who encouraged me to get into book blogging. It was really great to put faces to the names although since I only knew what Amanda looked like, I was a bit nervous. Thankfully, I spotted the group pretty quickly, and I had a great time chatting with Iliana, Carin, Karen, Trish, Debbie, and Amanda. Jason, Amanda’s husband, was gracious enough to take our photos (please notice how antisocial we are; we are standing like a foot away from each other). 😉 All in all, it was great to meet everyone, and I can’t wait for next year to do it again.

From left to right: Carin, me, Trish, Amanda, Debbie


From top left to bottom right: Iliana, Karen, Carin, and Amanda

Of course, I couldn’t wait to get to the tents to buy my copy of Behemoth, and I also picked up these little gems from one of my favorite artists (don’t worry – I’ve got a whole post lined up to give you a peek at the inside):


Stay tuned for a wrap-up of Sunday’s awesome panels!!!

Until then, happy reading,


aka picky girl