Sunday, January 31, 2010

LOL of the week: Missing Tail

Awww... he's so cute. Don't you just want to pick him up and hold him?

If you'd like to learn more about LOLcats, you can check out the website, or read my review of the book.

Have a great week!

A Question About Reviews

So I've noticed a little trend popping up on a few blogs lately. Some people are including links to other blogger's reviews along with their own. The idea behind it being that you have the opportunity to see other opinions of the book at the same time, kind of like you can on sites like Amazon or B&N with their product reviews.

So here's my question for you: what do you think of that idea? I'm trying to catch up on reviews myself and I've gone back and forth with this idea. So I put it to you, the readers, to share with me your thoughts on the subject.

So comment away! I'd really love to know what you think.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

WHAT?!? Noooooooo....

So this may be old news for some of you (I'm still working through the last few days of blog posts in my reader) but I just found this out via Charlotte's Library. has pulled all Macmillan books from their inventory over a dispute on eBook prices. Apparently Macmillian requested Amazon raise the prices of their ebooks to around 15 (instead of the regular $9.99 for a Kindle edition). Why the price hike? You can thank the new Apple iPad. The released details can be found in this New York Times article.

I am so upset. I get a lot of my books from because they only two bookstores that have good YA selection within several miles of my home is a Borders (15 minute drive) and a Barnes and Noble (30 minute drive without traffic). And lets just say although their selection is the best, they are usually about 2-3 years behind the new releases.

And some of my favorite authors publish through Macmillian. Their books include Henry Holt, FSG, Saint Martin's Press, and First Second Books among others. You may recognize them from a little vampire series called House of Night...? Yeah, that publisher.

Not. On. Amazon. Anymore.

What's a distraught bookworm to do?

Thanks again to Charlotte for the heads up.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

ARGH! Or, Comment Spam

Okay, I really need some help here. I've been getting tons of comment spam lately from the same two or three offenders. This has been going on since before Christmas from these same three accounts, and I am done with dealing nicely.

Does anyone know if there is a way to block a specific user from commenting? I already have word verification on there, so that's cut down a lot on spam since I added it. But obviously these guys must be human since they get through that somehow.

Any help would be appreciated. I'm getting really frustrated here. I don't want to have to turn on comment moderation for all comments, but I guess that might be my only option if I can't block someone. I've tried Googling the problem, but it's not being very helpful (the only advice I can seem to find is to turn on word verification).

What do you do about spam comments?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: 1.27.10

This week's Waiting On Wednesday Pick is:

Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow by Ridley Pearson

About the Book (from *Warning: This post may contain some spoilers from books I and II*:

"When Disney Imagineers installed hologram guides for the Magic Kingdom, using teenage models they had no idea the technology might backfire. But backfire it did: some nights when the kids go to sleep, they wake up in one of the Disney parks as a hologram.

With the adventures set forth in the first books now behind them, Kingdom Keepers 3: Disney In Shadow follows the five teens, Finn, Philby, Willa, Charlene, and Maybeck as they search to find Wayne, their mentor and head Imagineer who has mysteriously gone missing. Concerned Wayne has been abducted by the Overtakers-Disney villains, who along with other Disney characters, take over the parks when the turnstiles stop spinning, and want desperately to steer the parks to a far darker place-the five kids pick up a major clue from a close friend, Jez, whose dreams (nightmares, really) often accurately predict the future.

The very few clues from Jez's dream lead the kids into Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot--through imaginary worlds that become real, by imaginary kids who are real. Each clue seems tied to the last, and with the stakes growing ever higher, what starts out as a puzzle ends up as a fight for their lives. Through a transparent paper box, a quest for a sword, rides on Soarin' and Maelstrom, life-and-death encounters with giant snakes, and a devious Maleficent, the Kingdom Keepers not only begin to decipher deeper meanings to the clues, but discover new truths about themselves and their ever-growing friendships."

So this one is a little farther out than I normally feature WoW books, but I've been sitting on it for almost a year. And now I'm done waiting and want to share it.

So why do I want it? Well, first of all, it's Disney, so no surprises there. Second, it's Kingdom Keepers, and I loved the first two books in this series. And third, it's Hollywood Studios! That's my home park. :) Okay, and Epcot too, but still. Actually it's probably mostly Epcot from the cover. Speaking of covers, I hate, hate, hate the new covers. I really liked the original cover for book 1, since I thought the silhouettes gave it a mysterious air that added a nice touch. But they went with a new artist starting with book 2 and now they've gone back and redone book 1 it to match the three. Oh well, you win some you loose some.

And speaking of the cover, here's another tidbit that will prove just how much of a Disney park nut I am. I can walk you to the exact spot where that cover supposedly happens. Its behind and to the left of Spaceship Earth, off the side near the Universe of Energy. See? Told you so. :)

Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow will be released on March 6th. You can currently pre-order it from

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Button Contest Winners

Yeah, I know I said I was going to post these last week, but live was so crazy. So they're going up now.

First of all, before I announce the winners, I want to send out a big thank you to everyone who submitted the button. So... Thank You! I loved all of the entries, and thought they were all fantastic. However, I have to pick a winner, so here we go.

The winner for the Book Swaps button is...

This button was designed by Katy at A Few More Pages.

The winner for The Shady Glade button is...

Yeah, I know it's two winners. I really, really, really couldn't decide between the two. So we're going to have two winners for this one. The first button was designed Elaine and the second was also done by Katy.

Can I say again how much I hate choosing winners? All of the buttons submitted were so wonderful, I'd love to be able to use them all.

Everyone who entered the contest, thank you again so much. Don't worry, I'll probably be having more of these contests in the future, so you will have another chance to win! If you send me another email at shadyglade (AT) mail (DOT) com, I will get you 5 extra entries into the contest of your choice.

Congrats to the winners, and thank you, thank you, thank you! I'll be emailing you shortly so you can choose your prize. I'm also working on the form to grab the buttons, so I'll post an announcement when that is ready so you can all grab the button for your sidebars.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Contest Roundup Addition

Oops! One more thing I forgot to add to today's roundup. Mrs. Magoo Reads is having a contest to give away 10 books to one lucky winner. Ends Feb 14th.

Contest Roundup: January 25

I know I missed the roundup last week, so I wanted to make sure I got to it today. My sidebar's looking a little small too...

First off I want to tell you about a brand new feature hosted by The Neverending Shelf and Bookworming in the 21st Century: The Author Safari. These too have cooked up a unique author-based contest you just have to check out. Prize this time around are some Magic Under Glass goodies. Ends Jan 25 (today!) so hurry and enter!

I've been meaning to post this one for while, but there you go. Princess Bookie has a brand new contest going on for the new year your pick of 4 2010 ARCs. One of them is The Bad Queen, which I've been really excited to read. Ends Jan 26.

There's a 700 follower contest going on at Fantastic Book Review. Three winners can choose from a loooong list of books to celebrate the new year. This list really is long, and includes Shiver, in case you haven't read it yet. Ends Jan 29.

Here's a chance to enter the Best of YA Giveaway hosted by Book Bound. 4 winners will have their choice from a list of 15 of the best YA books of the year, including Eyes Like Stars which was one of my favorite 2009 reads. Ends Feb 5.

Eleni from La Femme Readers is giving away a copy of Darklight, the sequel to Wondrous Strange. I'm excited for this one, it looks good. Ends Feb 10.

Melanie from Melanie's Musings is having a giveaway to celebrate the end of her Beauty and the Beast week. The prize pack includes two books and one DVD. Ends Feb 15.

And last but not last for this week, Juiciliciousss Reviews is also having New Year's Contest. She's got 4 different prize packs up for grabs, so there's something for everyone here. One has Jeykll Loves Hyde, which you all know is one I'm waiting for. Ends Feb 14.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

LOL of the Week: Firefox search

I hate it when computers don't do what you tell them...

If you'd like to learn more about LOLcats, you can check out the website, or read my review of the book.

Have a great week!

Some thoughts on the Bloomsbury Mess

First of all, I want to say that if you've been following the situation about the cover of Magic Under Glass, you'll probably be familiar with all of this already. But this is my own (scattered) thoughts on the topic, now that the whole thing is over.

First of all, if you haven't already, I strongly suggest you read this post by MotherReader on the topic. Her argument is pretty much identical to mine on the subject. While I applaud the efforts of the blogging community in getting the cover changed, there are several things that really sadden me about the whole way it was handled this time around (as opposed to Liar's cover) and you'll find out what if you read that post.

On that subject, I did want to point out one quote in particular from her post, which I think is the thing that makes me most unhappy about this whole thing:

"I don’t feel good that book bloggers were tossed in the mix of blame for not noticing or reporting on the cover earlier. That argument assumes that (a) lots of bloggers get early copies, (b) the bloggers actually read that book of all the books they get, (c) in reading that book they notice the cover, and (d) they feel like reviewing the book. Book bloggers — we’re all on the same team here."[Emphasis mine]
I think I'd like to add one more thing to that argument. First of all, while we continue to strive for greater diversity in the blogosphere and publishing industry, remember that there is another kind of diversity in play here. That is diversity of opinion. Everyone is entitled to have their own opinion on any subject (including book bloggers), and there are always two sides (at least) to every situation. If everyone thought and acted the same, this world would be very, very boring. So attacking someone because they didn't bring up the cover earlier (assuming they even noticed)? That's not cool.

And here's another idea I have had on the subject. While there's been overwhelming support for the author in all this, she's also gotten a lot of criticism over the whole thing. Again, my opinion in this is pretty much summed up by MotherReader's post. However one prominent blogger (who shall remain anonymous) pointed out that the author is a grown woman and she should be able to handle the pressure. That's true, but I also want to point out that this author had the guts to feature a person of color as her main character in her very first book. Shouldn't that be something we should be celebrating?

And lastly, I'd like to respond to the Bloomsbury side of this, since they really are at fault for this whole thing. I don't know to what extent the marketing department reads the book before creating a cover, but they create what sells. You can have the best book in the whole world, that's been edited by the best editor, with story and characters greater than Harry Potter and Twilight combined, but if you can't convince the marketing department it will sell, it will never get published. And yes, it is sad that this cover got whitewashed because the publisher thought that would sell better, especially with what happened over Liar. But in my opinion, the way to change that is to encourage diversity of reading. When publishers see that that's what people will read (and hence buy) then they'll respond. Because money talks.

Which brings me to my last point, which is the boycott of Bloomsbury that has been suggested by some individuals. Now while I recognize that boycotts work, I don't think that would get the desired effect in this case. Thing about boycotting books is it's going to take a looooooong time to be effective, especially with a newly released book. So many people pre-ordered Magic Under Glass that I'm sure it's earnings didn't see that much of fluctuation.

A much more effective course of action was the letters and emails that many people wrote to Bloomsbury. In fact, considering the amount of time it took to resolve this (much less than Liar if I remember correctly) I personally think those emails had way more effect than a boycott would. The blogosphere is huge, but you have to remember that in a lot of ways we are just part of the book buying market. True, a boycott would have made sales drop off eventually, but who does that hurt more: the publisher or the author? If a book isn't making money publishers will kick both it (out of print) and the author (no longer has anywhere to publish her books) to the curb. That's why I believe the letters were definitely more effective this time around. Personally, I won't be boycotting Bloomsbury at all since they publish some of my favorite authors who I want to support and keep around including Lisa Klein, Shannon Hale, Mary Hoffman, and E.D. Baker. But again, that's just my view.

One more thing about the whole boycotting issue. If you really want to make the money talk, here's a way to do it much faster than simply swearing off all Bloomsbury books buy the UK cover instead of the whitewashed US cover. If you use sites like The Book Depository you can buy the UK cover (even if you're not in the UK) and have it shipped worldwide for free. I know that changing the cover has pretty much made this a moot point, but it's something to keep in mind for future situations of this caliber. If the book is making lots and lots of money for the UK version, but not the US version, don't you think the publisher will notice. Combine that with a polite email to Bloomsbury USA to let them know why you bought the UK version, and I think that's way more effective than a general boycott would be.

And that's pretty much all I'm going to say on the whole matter. In a lot of ways I'm glad it's over because this has been wayyyyyyy more drama than it should have been.

I want to point out that I am not pointing fingers at anyone (blogger or otherwise) by this post. I am simply stating my own opinion as it relates to this topic.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wishlist Update

For anyone who is interested, my wishlist in the left sidebar has been updated. For a list of what I have avaiable to trade, please see this post.

A Pearl Among Princes by Coleen Paratore
Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap
Avalon High: Coronation #2: Homecoming by Meg Cabot

Being Nikki by Meg Cabot

Darklight by Lesley Livingston
Daughter of the Flames by Zoe Mariott

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino

Great Call of China by Cynthea Liu
Green by Laura Peyton Roberts
Gunnerkrigg Court Volume 2: Research by Tom Siddell

Hearts at Stake: The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey
Heist Society by Ally Carter

Ivy by Julie Hearn

Jane Bites Back: A Novel by Michael Thomas Ford

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
Mansfield Park and Mummies by Jane Austen and Vera Nazarian

Nightschool, Vol. 1 by Svetlana Chmakova

Pichi Pichi Pitch 6: Mermaid Melody by Pink Hanimori
Poisoned Honey: A Story of Mary Magdalene by Beatrice Gormley
Possessed by Kate Cann
Pride and Prejudice (Graphic Novel) by Nancy Butler, Jane Austen, and Hugo Petrus
Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt

Return to Labyrinth Volume 2 by Jake Forbes

Soulless by Gail Carriger

The Agency 1: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
The Goldsmith's Daughter by Tanya Landman
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood
The Lady in the Tower by Marie-Louise Jensen
The Last Duchess (Beneath the Crown) by Sharon Stewart
The Market by J.M. Steele
The Nine Days Queen (Beneath the Crown) by Karleen Bradford
The Princess in the Tower (Beneath the Crown) by Sharon Stewart
The Runaway Dragon by Kate Coombs
The Scarlet Letterman by Cara Lockwood
The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler
The Timelight Stone (The Pirate & The Princess) by Mio Chizuru
The Wish Stealers by Tracy Trivas
Three Wishes by Isabelle Merlin

Under the Jolly Roger by L.A. Meyer

Violet Eyes by Debbie Viguie

What I Wore to Save the World by Maryrose Wood
When Irish Guys Are Smiling by Suzanne Supplee
Wolf Wing by Tanith Lee