Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday Vol. 9

Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Now that I'm particpating in The 2012 Debut Author Challenge I have a gaggle of books I'm waiting on. Here are my top three.

Above by Leah Bobet

Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee's wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above. . . one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. As Matthew unravels the mystery of Safe's history and the shadows' attack, he realizes he must find a way to remake his home--not just for himself, but for Ariel, who needs him more than ever before. 

 This is Bobet's first novel and it is a stand alone novel, which aren't easy to come by nowadays !

Something Strange and Deadly
Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper— The Dead are rising in Philadelphia

I want to read this book mostly so I can compare and contrast it to Dearly, Departed.


Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past

Revamping of fairytales has become very popular lately (ie Grimm, Once Upon A Time, Mirror, Mirror etc.) and Cinder seems to be a blend of many different genres.

Kat Reads Manga : A Super Basic Guide To Reading Manga

 In "Kat Reads Manga" , a new feature on Books and Sensibility a total manga novice attempts to review manga. 

Kat's Super Basic Guide To Reading Manga

Before I do my first review I wanted to make a super basic guide for people who don't know anything about  manga. There is so much more to talk about and I'm no expert, but these are the basics.

Manga is simply the Japanese word for comics. In America, it typically refers to any comic/graphic novel originating from Japan.

In America, mangas are published in monthly anthologies like Shojo Beat or Shonen Jump. The manga volumes you see in the bookstores are the strips from the anthology put together into a volume. Often the volumes have extra images and notes from the artist.

This is the Japanese word for a Manga artist--the person who draws the characters and may write the stories. 
 Some artist are represented as avatars. Hiromu Arakawa, managaka of Fullmetal Alchemist usually appears as a cow with glasses.

Manga volumes are about 180-200 pages long and can be read in one sitting. Most of them cost around $9.00 in stores. A series will have many volumes so, I suggest going to the library or used bookstores where volumes can be $3.00 or $4.00

Because they are translated from Japanese to English, manga reads right to left. Most manga have a page that explains how to read it.  Use this as a guide when you start.

Mangas exist in specific genres based on gender and age. They can be a helpful guide to what you want to read.

Shonen - Manga aimed at boys and is about young boys like Naruto

Shojo - Manga aimed at girls and often about love/high school life like Sailor Moon

Seinen-  Manga for older males. May includes lots of violence or gratious fanservice. A well-known example is Akira.

Josei - Manga for older females. Many of these aren't popular.

I find  these categories are getting more blurred and even the biggest fans can't differentiate them anymore.

Ready to get started ?

Reading manga is weird at first. I think once you get into it you start to like it. To find what you want to read :

For More Detailed Guide Check out :

Look out for my review of Vampire Knight !

Saturday, November 26, 2011

In My Mailbox Vol. 8

Welcome to In My Mailbox! You can find official information like how to participate, why it was started and other goodies about IMM on the IMM Page @ The Story Siren


Synopsis : New Hampshire high school junior Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet. . . 

Kat purchased this one from Amazon.com

Used Bookstore

Synopsis : The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud tells the haunting story of a young man who narrowly survives a terrible car wreck that kills his little brother. Years later, the brothers’ bond remains so strong that it transcends the normal boundaries separating life and death. 

I read Ben Sherwood's The Man Who Ate The Boeing 747 in high school and I was blown away at how much I liked a book about "adults". I just learned that he wrote this too.  You might also know it as the book based on that movie that with Zefron that kept playing that B.O.B song in the trailer. 

Synopsis: Here’s the deal: Aunt Peg, the New York artist and the person Ginny Blackstone depended on to make her life interesting, took off to Europe without a word three years ago. Aside from a few postcards, Ginny hasn’t heard much. Then she gets a horrible phone call that changes everything. But the story is only beginning. Soon after, Ginny receives one little blue envelope from Aunt Peg containing a thousand dollars and some very strange instructions…

I've been following Maureen on twitter and tumblr. She seems pretty interesting and funny. The book was just 2.50 so I figured why not ?

Barnes and Nobles

Synopsis : The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl.

What !? Can you believe I bought a new book from a bookstore ? I did. . .  but I had a 30 % off coupon and 10% off with the Barnes and Nobles membership  (the free two month trial that is)

Side Note: I love going to the  bookstore and seeing the physical version of books. Dearly Departed  by Lia Habel in hardcover is so pretty.

Shelf Candy Saturday : The Night Circus, Illustrated by Helen Musselwhite

 enjoyed  Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus and the cover (both UK and US ) fit the whimsical theme and feel of the novel.

The Artist : Helen Musselwhite

Musselwhite, isn't your typical artist, her medium isn't paint and paper. . .it's just paper.Believer it or not but her paper creations are handmade in her U.K studio.

"Each piece combines the hand cutting, folding and scoring of a wide range of papers and card that are further worked on to create patterned and textured surfaces. They are then used to build scenes in box frames which are often complex and consist of many layers. This process means that each item of work is truly individual with no two pieces the same.Influenced by the natural world each piece is manipulated to become an intriguing place, a glimpse into another world of fiction and fairytale."

Here are a few of my favorites, her designs are simple and clean. All of her work seems to fit the fantastical themes in The Night Circus.

Here are some examples of her paper artwork

Musselwhite even created this original art piece that was given to Erin Morgenstern.

Musselwhite also produced this early version of the cover that was posted on Morgenstern's website.

For more information visit http://www.helenmusselwhite.com/

Jess Joins The 2012 Debut Author Challenge

I'll be joinig 500 bloggers and reviewers for the  2012 Debut Author Challenge, in which bloggers are to "read & review a minimum of twelve young adult or middle grade debut novels between the dates of January 1, 2012 - January 31, 2013.

This is the first really big challege I am participating i and I'm hoping this will help when I'm having a hard time finding out what to read next. I hope to do 1 or 2 DAC a month !

You must have a blog to post your reviews or be a member of Goodreads.
Your blog must be written in English.
Deadline to join is May 31, 2012.


Must be a young adult or middle grade title.
Must be the author’s YA or MG debut, released in 2012.
If an author has a previous novel published for adults or children, they can still qualify for the challenge.
If an author has a previous YA or MG title, they do not qualify for the challenge.

For more information go here

I'll be reading :

I'm still searching for a few more books !

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Thanksgiving Treat !

It's Black Friday and while Kat is away I'm holding down the blog. Because we are particpatig in this little thing called National Blog Posting Month we have to post for everyday in November. . . however you know life outside blogging  can be and nothings been planed for the next two days so I'll be winging it.

For Thanksgiving I made some coconut cupcakes and  I want toshare the recipe with you in today's post They were moist and delicious. You don't have to make them coconut, add some extra vanilla or cocoa powder to the mix.

These will make the perfect reading snack.

Books and Sensibility Cupcakes (Adapted from Barefoot Contessa)

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon light corn syrup (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1  pound confectioners' sugar, sifted

Wilton 2D tip
Sandwich bags
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, corn syrup, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

Use the Ziploc bag ad snip off the tip and connect the frosting tip.

To do the swirl consult the following videos, just start from the outside and go in a circle gently overlaying each level.

Happy Eating !

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jess Joins The 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge!!!

"We all have those books. We buy them, win them, they're gifted to us.. Then we put them up on a bookshelf and there they stay, collecting dust, waiting for the time when we'll finally decide to pick them up.J
oin us on a quest to dust off your TBR Pile and read all the books you've been telling yourself you'll read next time you'll get a chance.. This is your chance! And we've got PRIZES!!! :D"


1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children

For more information click here

This is exactly the challenge I need.I have purchased so many books since starting this blog and they are begging to be read.

I'm going to start at the 11-20 - A Friendly Hug

Here is a preliminary list, I'll probably add more as my TBR pile grows !

1. Peace, Love and Rubber Duckies by Lauren Myracle
2. The Woods by Tana French
3. Remeberance by Michelle Maddow
4. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest Stieg Larsson
5. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
6. Speak by Lauren Hasle Anderson
7. Beautiful Chaos by Maragaret Stohl and Kami Garcia
8. Specials by Scott Westerfeld
9. Extras by  Scott Westerfeld
10. Souless by Gail Carriager 
11. Divergent by Veronica Rossi
12. Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood
13. Iron King by Julie Kagwa
14. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
15. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
16. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
17. Darker Still by Leanne Heiber
18. Wither by Lauren Destafano

What We Are Thankful For

This Thanksgiving we want to give thanks to all the book bloggers that have inspired us during our blogging journey. As new book bloggers we are always looking to learn and be innovative, I don't think we would be here today without them.

First you have to understand that when we started this blog we had no idea there was a book blogging community.

Just days after Books and Sensibility was created, Iloveradingandwriting had a contest where the first fifteen posters would get buzzed on her site. No only did this help us gain interest, but we were introduced to the world of book blogging, without it we would be alone out here.

The Story Siren and Breaking The Spine
How do you get to meet hundreds of book bloggers in a  matter of seconds ? The memes created by Story Siren and Breaking The Spine. A few months ago I could have only named maybe 2 new books, now I can names hundreds (okay, maybe just tens)

Katie's Book Blog, Sash and Em, Dianne Salerni, What's Your Story YA and Creative Reads

They were kind enough to host giveaways in which we won some amazing books, we would not have thought to read on our own !

A Cupcake and A Latte and The Girl Who Reads A Lot for adding us to your blogrolls and spreading the love !

Most importantly thank you to all the readers and followers for taking time from your day to read a piece of our minds.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Books and Sensibility is participating in NaBloPoMo. What's NaBloPoMo ? Find out here !

Waiting On Wednesday Vol. 8

Dead To You By Lisa McMann

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable...

This reminds me  of the Face On The Milk Carton series. Some of the early reviews say it has a twist ending. . . wonder what it could be. 
- Jess

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Bet you guys haven't ever seen this book before ever ? After feeling lukewarm about The Mortal Instruments, the Infernal Devices has peaked my interest. I enjoyed Clockwork Angel and can't wait for the next installation.

So, what are you all waiting on  ?

- Kat

Books and Sensibility is participating in NaBloPoMo. What's NaBloPoMo ? Find out here !

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cover Wars : US Vs. The World Vol. 4

Inspired by I Want To Read That and Not Enough Bookshelves as well as my own love of pretty book covers, Books and Sensibility presents: Cover Wars.

 Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

 This is one of my favorite books and yet I've never seen the UK cover until recently. In comparison the US cover is kind of lacking and I've always thought it  gave the wrong message. The novel is not about "preppy" as in the style of dress and the stereotypical people that wear it.  It's about a girl and a prep school.

Winner : UK

Triple Header: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

So, I  never thought much of this book, but apparently it is being optioned for a CW show.   They all feature  the classic  pretty girl in dress, but I like the Australian one best.   The other two look to one tune.

Winner : Australian

White Cat by Holly Black

I've seen this book everywhere,  it's always on the bargain table at some Books A Million. While I like the cool laid back look of the US cover, the UK cover it more darkly whimsical.

Winner: UK

These are my verdicts, what are yours and why ?

Books and Sensibility is participating in NaBloPoMo. What's NaBloPoMo ? Find out here !


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