New Books Added to My TBR Pile

New Books Added to My TBR Pile

I got some new books in the mail today, that I ordered for Amazon.  Having a box of new books waiting for you on your doorstep at the end of a long day is one of these things that really lifts my spirits and makes me happy.  I never get tired of it.  And after a very long, brain-draining sort of day/week (and another such day awaiting me tomorrow), and after sitting in a traffic jam for 2 hrs, and not getting home until almost 8pm, and still needing to eat dinner, take a shower, etc etc etc…, it was REALLY nice to have these books waiting for me.  Here’s what I got:

I bought the Best New Poets 2011: 50 Poems from Emerging Writers because one of my friends and fellow graduate students is featured in it.  If you’re curious, her name is Janine Joseph, her poem featured in the anthology is called “Wreck,” and she is completely awesome.  I plan to get her to sign the book.  I fully expect her to be a huge famous poet some day (or at least as famous as poets get nowadays — speaking of, it’s so strange that poets were once practically the “rock stars” of American culture, and now only other poets and English majors know who they are).

I bought a YA historical fiction called My Name Is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson, which I bought pretty much on a whim.  It’s about the treatment of Eskimo and Native American tribes and the children sent to “white” Catholic boarding schools to essentially be brainwashed.  This novel takes place mainly in the 1960s, but this kind of thing had been going on since at least the 1800s, and continued until late into the 1960s or early 1970s.  It sounds like a really fascinating book, on a subject area I don’t know a LOT about, but am very interested in.

Next: I FINALLY got around to ordering a book I’ve been meaning to buy for about a year now.  It’s called Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins, it’s by Emma Donoghue (now known as the author of Room), and it’s collection of re-imaginings of fairy tales (which, as I’ve mentioned a few times by now, I absolutely LOVE).  I cannot wait to sink my teeth into this book (possible literally… ^_^).

And last, I bought The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente.  I cannot tell you how many amazing reviews I’ve read of this book!  I cannot tell you how amazing this book sounds to me!  I also cannot tell you how hard it was to get a hold of.  I got a couple Barnes & Noble gift cards for Christmas, and planned to buy this book with one of those gift cards.  But I went to TWO Barnes & Noble bookstores, and neither had this book.  So I finally just caved and ordered it on Amazon instead (yet another example of why brick and mortar bookstores are going to continue to suffer despite my own willingness to continue supporting them).  I absolutely cannot WAIT to read this book (though I will probably HAVE to wait, at least a month of two).

Amanda’s Top 20 Albums of 2011, Part 2 (1-10)

Amanda’s Top 20 Albums of 2011, Part 2 (1-10):

As promised, here is the second half of my list of the best albums of the year.  If you haven’t seen 11-20 yet, please start here.  I would like to remind you all, as I said on Friday, that while I’m pretty happy with the placement of 1-3 and 16-20, all the other positions are rather fluid.  Still, I’d love to hear your opinion about what’s too high, too low, what you think shouldn’t be on the list at all, and you think I’m missing.

So, enjoy the list.  And please tell me what you think!

10) 21 by Adele

9) True Loves by Hooray For Earth

8) Cults by Cults

7) Old Tyme Religion by Hugo

6) Torches by Foster the People

5) El Camino by The Black Keys

4) Wasting Light by The Foo Fighters

3) Ceremonials by Florence + the Machine

2) Bon Iver by Bon Iver

1) Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes

So there you have it folks!  Also, as promised, I have made a Spotify playlist which contains all 20 of these albums in order, except for El Camino, which is too new to be available on Spotify yet.  The playlist can be found here (you do need a Spotify account to access the playlist, but it’s free!).  I hope you enjoy the playlist!  Maybe you’ll find your new favorite artist or song. You never know. ^__^

Again, please let me know what you think!  And I expect to see you all back here bright and early on Monday morning for the kick-off of the Scorpio Rising blog tour!

Amanda’s Top 20 Albums of 2011, Part 1 (11-20)

Free-For-All Friday: Amanda’s Top 20 Albums of 2011, Part 1 (11-20)

At first, I was thinking I’d do another post for the In Leah’s Wake blog tour to wrap up the week, but then I realized that if I did all three of my weekly posts for these blog tours that I have lined up through Christmas, I wouldn’t have time to do any of the other million things I’d like to talk about.  So decided that for each of the blog tours, I will do something Monday and Wednesday, but I’m keeping Free-For-All Fridays for myself.  If you haven’t checked out any of the In Leah’s Wake blog tour stuff please go here for an excerpt from the novel, and here for my review.  Each of those posts will also give you some info on prizes you can possibly win, but today (Friday) is the last day to get in on those, so hurry!

Anyway, I’ve been talking to friends about my (and their) top albums of the year, and I’ve been reading lists from TIME, Rolling Stone, Spin, and others, and I decided it was time to list my Top 20 Albums for 2011.  I couldn’t keep it down to 10, sorry!  I just couldn’t do it!  Also, while I’m pretty content with 1-3, and 16-20, all the ones in the middle keep moving around and pushing each other around, so those numbers aren’t quite so stable in hierarchy.  Anyway, without further ado, Amanda’s Top 20 Albums of 2011, Part 1 (11-20):

20) Nine Types of Light by TV on the Radio

19) The King is Dead by The Decemberists

18) What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? by The Vaccines

17) Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

16) Circuital by My Morning Jacket

15) Take Care, Take Care, Take Care by Explosions in the Sky

14) In the Grace of Your Love by The Rapture

13) Killing the Darlings by Pearl and the Beard

12) Codes and Keys by Death Cab for Cutie

11) Audio, Video, Disco by Justice

As you may be able to tell, I have extremely varied and somewhat eccentric tastes.  There were a number of other albums I thought about it putting in here as well.  I have a couple honorable mentions:

Silversun Pickups new single Seasick, which probably would have replaced TV on the Radio except it seemed silly to put a single with only 3 songs on the list.  Also, Hugh Laurie’s blues album Let Them Talk — some people don’t think it’s all that good, but I happen to really like it.  Tab Benoit’s New Orleans Blues album Medicine almost made the list too.

Anyway, rather than make you wait until next Friday to see the Top 10, I’m going to post the second half of the list on Sunday before my next blog tour starts.  So please stop back by on Sunday to see what made the Top 10.  Also, I’m putting together a Spotify playlist with all my Top 20 albums, which I will have posted for you all on Sunday as well.

Oh! and please feel free to chime in below! I’d love to hear what you think of my list so far.  What’s missing?  What should be higher or lower?  What have you simply never heard of before?  I am ALWAYS in need of new music, so please tell me what I’m missing!