Author: Abbie (Page 2 of 2)

SARAH J. MAAS is coming to Jackson!!!!!

So either you’re just as excited as I am and are dancing around in pure joy at the idea of getting to meet Sarah, or you’re wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, let me tell you why this is such a big deal.

JacketSarah J. Maas is a New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author of two amazing young adult fantasy series. As part of her tour for Empire of Storms, the newest installment in the Throne of Glass series, Sarah will be coming to Jackson this fall!

Throne of Glass centers around 18-year-old Celaena Sardothien, a well-known assassin who has spent the last year imprisoned in the salt mines of Endovier after she was caught for her crimes. When the king holds a competition to pick his new assassin, Prince Dorian agrees to free Celaena if she will be his champion for the contest. Competing with a hoard of twenty-three sponsored thieves and warriors gives Celaena a chance to show off her skills and earns her the interest of the prince and his captain of the guard. But when champions start turning up dead, the competition is the least of her worries. If she wants to become the king’s assassin and eventually earn her freedom, Celaena will have to not only survive, but win.

This is the series that got me into reading more fantasy. It starts off with a bang and gets more interesting with each book. It’s no surprise Sarah has been called the “Queen of YA Fantasy” by her legion of fans. Her world-building is creative and her characters are fun. Celaena in particular is a strong, independent heroine with a lot of sass, but she is also down-to-earth with her complicated past and teenage tendencies. I’ll admit I’m also a fan of the romance in these books. But if you think you know who’s ending up with whom, read on, because Sarah loves to hit readers with the unexpected. Each installment in this series is fresh and even better than the next. I love getting to meet new characters and explore new places within the complex world that Sarah has created. Not only is it an action-packed series filled with fighting, magic, and romance, but it also deals with issues such as class, power, friendship, and loss.

If I haven’t already convinced you to pick up these books, just do it! You won’t be disappointed. And you’ve still got plenty of time to binge this series before the release of the fifth book: Empire of Storms. Sarah will be here just two days after the book is released, so you can meet your new favorite author and get her new book signed at the same time!

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A TICKET FOR THE EVENT (WHICH INCLUDES A PRE-ORDERED COPY OF EMPIRE OF STORMS): 

EVENT DETAILS:

When: Thursday, September 8 at 6 p.m.
Where: The Cedars—4145 Old Canton Road, Jackson, MS 39216

Things you need to know:
-Additional Sarah J. Maas books will be available for purchase at the event.
-The event will be outside on the back lawn. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. If it rains, the event will be inside.
-Line numbers will be given out when you exchange your ticket for a book.
-You must have a line number to enter the signing line—line will be capped at 250 people.
-You may bring a maximum of three (3) Sarah J. Maas books into the signing line to be signed (regardless of where they were purchased).
-Only one book may be personalized.
-Photography is allowed, but Sarah will not pose for photos.
-ABSOLUTELY NO VIDEO.

Questions? Call 601-366-7619

Get to Know Abbie

bc8ab1de-2c47-4736-bed9-34d35e955034How long have you worked at Lemuria? 6 months

What do you do at Lemuria? Check out/answer phones/keep the religious section nice and tidy

Talk to us about what you’re reading right now. Just finished Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. It’s great!  Now I’m onto Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.

What’s currently on your bedside table (book purgatory)? The After Party by Anton Disclafani, The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson, and several YA books.

How many books do you usually read at a time? I love to read multiple books at the same time. Usually 2-3, but I’ve done up to 5. I like having options if I get bored with one, and it makes each story seem fresh when I return to it.

I know it’s difficult, but give us your current top five books.
(I’m guessing you mean “of all time,” right?)
5. If You Find This Letter by Hannah Brencher
4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
3. Holes by Louis Sachar
2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Favorite authors?
Rainbow Rowell, Leigh Bardugo, Victoria Schwab

Any particular genre that you’re especially in love with?YA, memoirs, and books with magic

What did you do before you worked at Lemuria? After I graduated from college, I went to work at the Grand Canyon for the summer. I was at the front desk at the North Rim Lodge.

If you could share lasagna with any author, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you ask them?
Louisa May Alcott, and I would ask her, (SPOILER) “Why in the world didn’t you let Jo and Laurie be together in your book?! They were meant to be!”

Why do you like working at Lemuria?
I love the bookish community and how many authors and great reads I’ve discovered because of Lemuria. And the people are awesome! Plus, it’s super cozy (have you seen our green carpet?).

If we could have any living author visit the store and do a reading, who would you want to come?
J.K. Rowling, duh! But I would probably be making a scene with all my ugly crying over how happy I was to be in the same room as her.

If Lemuria could have ANY pet (mythical or real), what do you think it should be?
I’ve actually discussed this with someone in detail. It would be a bear. His name would be Bear E. Hannah, and we would train him to grab books off the shelf for us. However, he would never bring the right one, so we’d comically be like, “Bear E!” And he would get into other hilarious shenanigans while wearing a Lemuria t-shirt.

If you had the ability to teleport, where would you go first?
Harry Potter World at Universal Studios!

Your spring cleaning motivation

May is here, and it’s not too late to get a start on spring cleaning! The task can be pretty daunting, but I’ve got some great books that will inspire and give you the push you need to get rid of the junk that’s cluttering up your homes and your lives for good.

JacketFor those of you who are ready to get serious about “out with the old,” pick up a copy of the acclaimed The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. You’ve heard about it. You’ve seen it. You’ve wondered if it’s all it’s cracked up to be. Well, let me tell you, this book really is life-changing if you give it a chance. Kondo’s method, also known as KonMari, is all about surrounding yourself with the things that bring you joy. In fact, that’s the key question. Kondo asks you to gather your things, take each one in your hand, and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” It may sound ridiculous, but it actually works.

Having done the KonMari method myself, I found that collecting all my belongings from each category (clothes, then books, etc.) made me realize how much I actually owned (and it was shocking). Kondo’s take on letting go of the items that make us feel weighed down, guilty, or simply don’t inspire us is definitely eye-opening.

I’m not going to lie—you have to take this book with a grain of salt. It’s pretty Japanese, so any mention of “waking up” or “being kind” to your belongings needs to be considered light-heartedly (although Kondo is dead serious about verbally thanking your stuff). I didn’t follow her method exactly, rather altered it to fit my lifestyle and personal preferences. But it has definitely changed the way I view my possessions and what I really need in my life. “You will never use spare buttons” is something I didn’t know I needed to hear until I read this book. It takes time and work, but trust me when I say that this method is totally freeing. My new space definitely attests to that. Crazy as it sounds, Kondo was right that tidying can actually be fun.

Jacket (1)Another recent read that really helped transform my perspective on material things is The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify by Francine Jay. This book not only goes over how to de-clutter, organize, and maintain each room of the house, it also focuses on mindset. I really appreciated Jay’s discussion about our consumeristic culture and why we feel the need to purchase so much. After reading Kondo’s book, I was happy to see a more American take on materialism and why we as a society have come to equate stuff with success. She also encourages people to be responsible and educated consumers who are contributing less to the problems with waste and unfair labor conditions in our world. This is definitely a great read for those who are looking to not only to decrease the amount of things in their home, but who also want to decrease their ecological footprint. Jay’s down-to-earth style and relatable examples make this an enjoyable and motivating read.

Jacket (2)Lastly, for those hardcore minimalists out there, take a look at Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending up with More by Erin Boyle. This book is all about getting down to those bare essentials and understanding that more stuff doesn’t necessarily mean more happiness. Filled with advice about how to downsize your things, as well as personal stories and projects, Boyle challenges readers to embrace a simpler life. The images of clean, crisp rooms are gorgeous and inspiring. However, I’ll give you a heads up and say that when Boyle means simple, she really means simple. Don’t be surprised to find photos of bare walls and surfaces, or entire rooms empty except for a bed and maybe a single flower in a vase. Whether this fits your lifestyle or not, Boyle definitely makes you consider what is really necessary in a home and how you can save money and time that is usually poured into your home and use it for more enriching experiences.

Happy spring cleaning!

Celebrate St. George’s Day With a Book: ‘Ella Minnow Pea’ by Mark Dunn

st george 1
This month at Lemuria, we are celebrating La Diada de Sant Jordi, or the great National Feast Day in Catalonia. Also known as St. George’s Day, April 23 is dedicated to the love of books and is celebrated by giving a beloved book and a rose to someone special.

In honor of St. George’s day, we here at Lemuria are unearthing books that are near and dear to our hearts and sharing them with you in the hopes that you will discover a new favorite.

st. george day 2016
ella minnow peaMy literary gem that I want to share with you this month is Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. Termed “a novel in letters,” it’s a perfect book for sharing some literary love. This witty, insightful tale takes place on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina. The island is named after Nevin Nollop, who is credited with crafting the shortest sentence to use all letters of the alphabet: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. Once the letters of this pangram start to fall off the memorial statue of Nollop, the island’s Council takes it as a bad omen and bans their use. Therefore, as the letters fall from the statue, so they disappear from the novel. Ella Minnow Pea and her friends on Nollop now have to figure out how to save their sacred words in a totalitarian society where language reigns.

This book is short and sweet and is a linguistic delight that will leave you with a greater appreciation for words and the importance of language.  Dunn chooses to use correspondences between the citizens of Nollop, the perfect epistolary format to showcase what’s happening in the story. In today’s age, where technology has often dumbed communication down, I love the beautiful, formal style of the letters between the Nollopians. Not only does it make for an interesting telling of the plot, but you get to see the personalities of the different characters and how they are affected throughout the story.

Signed First Edition

Signed First Edition

I thoroughly enjoy watching how the characters deal with the letters’ disappearing. You wonder how they will be able to communicate as each letter falls, but their determination, cleverness, and amazing vocabulary (there are some great SAT words in here) make it such a hilarious and entertaining read.

This book is a fun, linguistic puzzle, but at its core it’s a story that deals with censorship, resilience, self expression, and the beauty of language. I recommend it for your inner word-geek or if you’re in need of a light, literary treat.

If you’re in Lemuria, feel free to ask me more about this book! I’d love to tell you more about why I find it so amazing and then we can gush about language together.

“For the ones who dream of stranger worlds”

In V. E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magicthere is more than one London. In fact, there are four: magic-less and ordinary Grey London; vibrant and thriving Red London; cold and cruel White London; and mysterious and powerful Black London, each with its own society and level of magic. The various worlds have been sealed off from each other for centuries, and only Antari, blood magicians, have the ability to travel between them.

Kell, a privileged traveler from Red London, is one of only two known blood magicians. He’s been moving between worlds for years, delivering the messages of monarchy and secretly harboring trinkets from each London. But when Kell ends up accidently smuggling an object that brings more danger than luck, he finds himself trying to evade the hands of the other traveler, a White London Antari who will stop at nothing to steal power away from Kell.

While on the run, Kell meets Lila Bard, a poor thief from Grey London who longs for freedom and adventure. After saving each other’s lives, the two team up, traveling between Londons to battle the dark magic that’s threatening all of their worlds.

First off, Victoria Schwab has such a talent for creating captivating settings that make you feel, rather than just see, where things are taking place. I love the various Londons with their distinct cultures, languages, and magic. You can tell that Schwab put a lot of effort into building the worlds, and I like the way they play off of one another. Schwab’s writing is also engaging and sucks the reader in from the start. The fast-pace plot and unique setting had me desperately turning pages to find out what was going to happen next.

The magic system in this story is also really fascinating. Most people with magic can control a particular element or maybe even a few. However, magicians like Kell have additional abilities, such as opening doors to other worlds. While I really enjoyed reading about the magic in this book, I wished it had been showcased more. There were also times when it felt like magic could have been used to solve problems more quickly. However, I liked the diversity of how magic is used in the worlds and the importance of balance between man and magic. I feel that this book was mostly about introducing the basics of how magic works, and I’m looking forward to learning more about the magic system in the next books of this trilogy.

While I enjoyed the magic and the setting, the characters were probably the best part about the story. Kell’s powers and cryptic past kept me wanting to know more about him; and feisty Lila, with her knack for pickpocketing and her well-timed sassiness, was a character that I couldn’t help but root for. I found myself appreciating her and Kell’s relationship and how they progressed throughout the story. I was also very intrigued by the mysterious White traveler Holland. I’m excited to learn more about him as the story continues.

Overall, A Darker Shade of Magic had me staying up late into the night in an effort to finish it. If you enjoy alternate universes, magical men in fabulous coats, and cross-dressing thieves, then pick up this excellent fantasy read. The sequel, A Gathering of Shadows, was just released last month, and I can’t wait to tear into it and continue the adventure.

“The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown

“…those almost mystical bonds of trust and affection, if nurtured correctly, might lift a crew above the ordinary sphere, transport it to a place where nine boys somehow became one thing—a thing that could not quite be defined, a thing that was so in tune with the water and the earth and the sky above that, as they rowed, effort was replaced by ecstasy.” 

JacketThe New York Times bestselling The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown is about the Washington University rowing team that won the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Through newspaper articles, journals, interviews, and the like, Brown weaves his research into an engaging tale of overcoming odds and pushing toward success.

While the story involves the journey of nine crew students at Washington, it focuses on Joe Rantz, a talented boy forced to grow up too fast. You get a glimpse of the heartache and struggle he had to endure at a young age that ultimately gave him the fight and determination he needed to excel on the Washington crew.

It’s amazing how these boys were not only a part of a highly-competitive rowing team, but they also had to attend class and do school work, as well as take on jobs to pay their way through college. The demands placed upon that generation and their perseverance through it all are truly inspirational. It was their resolve that transferred into rowing and led them to become Olympic champions.

I never really knew how both physically and mentally demanding rowing is. The details about each stroke, the technique, and how the body is effected left me feeling exhausted in some sections. It also amazed me how in-sync they had to be: “The movements of each rower are so intimately intertwined, so precisely synchronized with the movements of all the others, that any one rower’s mistake or subpar performance can throw off the temp of the stroke, the balance of the boat, and ultimately the success of the whole crew.”

After reading about how much the sport tested the team and how their coaches pushed them, it really made me appreciate rowing, and I think it is one of the most challenging sports of all time.

Not only is this a story about rowing, but Brown also paints a picture of the world during the 1930s. The Depression, the Dust Bowl, and the rise of Hitler all set the backdrop to the primary story of collegiate rowing. The reader gets a better understanding of the political scene during the games and just how influential the American victory in Berlin was on an international level.

I also loved reading about how the team bonded together, not just because of rowing, but because of who they were—the sons of farmers and miners, just trying to survive and working for a better future. The 1936 Olympics wasn’t just a victory for the University of Washington, but for all Americans during a dark time. It’s no wonder that those nine boys in the boat still inspire people today.

Overall, it was an excellent read, and I’m excited to see how it will translate onto the Big Screen in the next year or so.

Gifting the Perfect Book: Students of the Human Condition

Jacket (1)It seems impossible to be able to capture what it is to be human, but Brandon Stanton has come pretty darn close.

What started back in 2010 as one man trying to take a photographic census of the city of New York has now become an extremely successful blog with millions of followers. Humans of New York, Stanton’s first book published in 2013, is comprised solely of photographs that portray the diversity of those living in the Big Apple.

Humans of New York: Stories is the highly-demanded continuation of this project that came out in October 2015. Armed with a camera and a knack for interviewing, Stanton uncovers more about the people living in the various boroughs through photographs and accompanying quotes.

From little kids talking about their day and couples discussing their relationships, to men and women battling mental illness or dealing with loss, each story is unique and engaging; and not only paints a bigger picture of the variety of people living in New York, but also reveals how we are all similar at our core.

I absolutely love HONY, particularly the quotes, so this book sucked me in from start to finish. Even in its simplicity, there is a heart-wrenching honesty that comes from the people who are featured. I smiled. I laughed. I cried. Many of the stories are so raw and vulnerable that they straight-up punched me in the gut.

Not only are the stories deeply moving, but the photographs are also incredibly stunning. Each piece flows smoothly to the next, and I couldn’t stop flipping the pages; it makes for a great coffee table book.

What I love the most about HONY is Stanton’s ability to make you stop and really think about people. He takes prejudices and stereotypes and shoves them back in your face. From joy and celebrations to heartache and pain, the rich stories from everyday people (and even a few well-known faces) ultimately show how we are all connected despite our differences. Each page gives you a broader understanding of how every person has their own baggage they’re carrying, their own dreams they’re pursuing, and their own battle they’re fighting.

I really appreciate how Stanton has given people, who may not have a chance to have their voices heard, a platform to share their stories. Though this is a book filled with numerous faces, Stanton still manages to convey that no one can be summed up in a photo or a line of text—their stories extend beyond the page. I’m interested to see what this project will evolve into next. I recommend Humans of New York: Stories to anyone in need of an impressive photography book or a quick read that will get you thinking.

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