Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bookie Brunch: with vvb32 reads in October

Welcome to Bookie Brunch
Founder: Sasha Soren
(Random Magic)
Come join the discussion!
* Every Sunday*

Today’s host: vvb32 reads - me-me-me
Next week’s host: The Fluidity of Time
This week’s discussion open through: Wednesday, October 19

Guests this week:
Guest blogger: AimeeKay of Reviews From My First Reads Shelf
Guest blogger: Christina the Book Addict
Guest blogger: Sarah Says Read
Guest author: Crystal Johnson, author of The War Game
Guest author: Prue Batten, author of A Thousand Glass Flower

AND, you’re invited!


What are your thoughts on books that are an unusual size? (i.e. coffee table books, larger than mass market or trade paperback or hardback, miniatures, non-rectangular, pop-up books)

Related topics to consider:
-Do you own any unusual-sized books?
If so, what was it about them specifically that appealed to you?

-If you don't own any, do you have any on your wishlist?

Please provide title(s) and author(s).


vvb - the host, first in the hot seat

Brunch Beverage pick: mexican mochaccino (my fave at home drink)

omg! a vlog! -- my first.

While I love unusual sized books because of their unique-ness, I only own a few.

Masked Ball
by Prue Batten
Miniature book: 2 1/4" x 1 1/2"
Hardback: 46 pages with 6 illustrations

My first mini that is a story and not one of those off-the-shelf novelty ones with quotes.

Griffin & Sabine
by Nick Bantock
Size: 8.1 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches
Hardback: 48 pages with color illustrations

This is an interactive books with illustrations galore and an actual story told with postcards and letters. I have the trilogy which just thrills me.

Faberge Eggs
Imperial Russian Fantasies Poster Book
by Christopher Forbes
Size: 14.7 x 10.6 x 0.4 inches
Paperback: 64 pages with color photos

One of my favorite coffee table book acquired at a museum influenced by the art exhibit of Faberge eggs.

Poems by the Modern Animal
by Jeff Van Bueren
Size: 9 x 6 inches
Paperback: pages with stamped artwork
Limited edition

Handmade book by the author, my bro-inlaw ;-D


Guest: AimeeKay of Reviews From My First Reads Shelf

Brunch Beverage pick: A Green Tea Frappucino with whipped topping and caramel from Starbucks! I decided to treat myself to something special for this one.

First I would like to thank Velvet for inviting me to her Bookie Brunch!

I have a love/hate relationship with Books of Unusual Size, or B.O.U.S.'s. (Yes that's a reference to The Princess Bride! Love that book and the movie!) I love them because they are almost always guaranteed to be unique and enjoyable.

Eragon's Guide to Alagaesia
by Christopher Paolini

My collection includes books that are large to books that are small. I especially love my Ology books, Dragonology or Egyptology for example, with their amazing pictures and little add ins. Such as the letters from explorers that are folded and tucked into little envelopes or the dragon scales. But even the ones that are over-sized books are entertaining, with big glossy pictures.

I can't however leave out my smaller books. I have one or two that have found their way to my library by way of my children that hold special places simply because of fond memories. But I also have others that I have collected over the years.

My favorite of these being Caesar's Gallic War, from David McKay Company, Inc. New York, copyrighted 1896 by David McKay. It has been severely beaten on over time, but it still holds a place of high regard in my library if specifically because of its age and size.

The smaller books I always find special because when you hold them it is like holding a special secret. They get lost in the shelves and are pulled as if from no where, it feels as if they have some mysterious importance that must be hidden away again once you are done reading them.

Of course that last part kind of leads into why I hate B.O.U.S.'s. They are almost impossible to shelve!!!! The big ones are sometimes TOO big for the shelves and have to be laid flat. If they have special designs or embossing on the front it makes it hard to stack them that way also. As for the small ones, they get lost so easily amongst regular sized books, or slip back so that there isn't a neat row of bindings, but a small slit left at some point that makes you think all the books aren't placed neatly together. It's very frustrating when you are trying to organize shelves and do away with clutter. Sometimes they are even too small to put with the rest and you have to find someplace special just for them. Which isn't always a bad thing, except when one is pressed for space.

As for ones I do not own, or are on my wish list. I actually would like to acquire the entire Ology series. Such as Monsterology: The Complete Book of Monstrous Beasts by Dr. Ernest Drake and Dugald Steer or Pirateology: The Pirate Hunter's Companion (Ologies) by Captain William Lubber and Dugald Steer. There are many more than this, however the list is long and I don't want to take up the whole post! As for smaller B.O.U.S.'s I do not have anything specific on my wish list at this time, however I would love to own a set of those little letters that Velvet uses in the picture on her In My Mailbox posts!

Again thank you Velvet for inviting me, and the drink is delicious! I can't wait to hear other's takes on B.O.U.S.'s and which ones are their favorites!


Guest: Christina the Book Addict

Brunch Beverage pick: apple juice


Guest: Crystal Johnson, author of The War Game

Brunch Beverage pick: Spiced Apple Cider, served piping hot!

Answer:: I love unusual sized books, they catch my attention right away. Usually, the books that catch my eye are often graphic novels, photographic memoirs, and just odd little quirky books.

Usually, when a book is oversized, that means that there are fun things to open and discover in them! I love books where you can read “private” letters, unfold clues, and manipulate it so the pictures on the pages move.

Some favorite unusual sized books come to mind:

Lost Girls
by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie

This book is an adult graphic novel about Wendy, Alice, and Dorothy (yes, those characters from your favorite children’s literature), uh, “discovering their womanhood.”

Alice in Wonderland Pop-Up
by Robert Sabuda

I used to collect Alice in Wonderland books since the copyright is so old any company can produce their own illustrated versions. I stopped after I got to 25 books (I even found an “Alice In Bibleland”). Some of which were awful, some were great. This one, clearly, falls into the great category.

The Jolly Postman and Other People’s Letters
by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg

My favorite and most coverted book. In elementary school, I would race to get it off the shelves as soon as story time ended. Until I receive a copy from Santa, of course.

Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Book
by Terry Jones

A fun and quirky book. It’s fairy good!

FYI: coming soon...

The War Game
by Crystal Johnson
-fantasy, YA
Release date: tba

Pearl, a teenage orphan of a lesbian couple and an illegal citizen of an Untied State, is shuffled around from camp to concentration camp. She meets John at a former amusement park turned prison and they hatch a plan to escape to Canada (because, as the saying goes, “You Can in Canada!”). But various threats-from whispers of “cards”, a place called Camp Z, soldiers doing their daily “shopping”, and an arranged marriage, threaten to tear them apart.


Guest: Sarah Says Read

Brunch Beverage pick: coffee with italian sweet cream creamer

He's Just Not Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo

The Kiss

Great Lies to Tell Small Kids by Andy Riley

Cyanide & Happiness by Kris Wilson, Matt Melvin, Rob Denbleyker and Dave McElfatric

Suggestion by Illegal Art, Michael McDevitt and Otis Kriegel

Santa Claus by Rod Green


Guest: Prue Batten, author of A Thousand Glass Flowers

Brunch Beverage pick: If it’s a late brunch then I would like champagne with organic Tasmanian strawberries floating in it.

I don’t mind at all if it’s an author I like or subject matter I crave. The thing with non-fiction coffee table books is that they are so luscious to look at it, how could anyone not want them, size notwithstanding? But I crave even smaller ones as well… right down to miniatures.

Related topics:

I do. I own a specially large and stunning coffee-table book called Fairie-ality: The Fashion Collection from the House of Ellwand by Eugenie Bird and David Downton, Walker Books, 2002 It is the most superb catalogue of fairie garments actually put together from eclectic botanical pieces. It’s gorgeous!

There are quite a few other books of the same size; in fact I have six bookshelves with quarto-sized books! But from the biggest to the smallest - I have a neat little collection of miniature books on many varied subjects. My favourite miniature currently is Gisborne which is created by Pat Sweet and contains a short story inside written by myself.

With the larger books, it is always subject matter and divine illustrative work. With the miniatures, it is the subject matter, divine illustrative work and the manipulative skill of the artist.

I do have a wishlist:
Andrew Zega’s and Bernt H. Dam’s Architectural Alphabets...

and also another of theirs entitled Chinoiserie...

They are absolutely stunning to look at. Never to be afforded. $US300 for the former and $US1100 for the latter.

And many others by a host of authors, including the miniature Traveler's Library from Bo Press Miniature Books.

FYI: kindle version just released in August...

A Thousand Glass Flowers
by Prue Batten
Release date for print: Christmas 2011

side note: a very happy birthday to Prue today!!!


Please share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section, so they can be included in the discussion.

And share what brunch beverage you enjoy.

This is an active discussion though Wednesday, so feel free to stop by again later on.

*-*-* B R U N C H goodies *-*-*

WIN this...

Jane's Fame:
How Jane Austen Conquered the World
by Claire Harman

About: When publisher Thomas Cadell declined an unsolicited manuscript offered to him by a Hampshire clergyman in 1797, he made one of the biggest mistakes in publishing history, for the manuscript was an early version of Pride and Prejudice, and the clergyman's daughter was destined to become one of the most recognizable names in literature...
- Claire Harman, author of the book Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World

Shown above: Modern Jane, concept photo by Theo Westenberger; Jane Austen signature circa 1817

Jane’s Fame tells the story of writer Jane Austen’s renown, from the years of rejection the author faced during her lifetime to the global recognition and adoration she now enjoys. Almost two hundred years after her death, Austen remains a hot topic, constantly open to revival and reinterpretation and known to millions of people through film and television adaptations of her work.

In Jane’s Fame, Claire Harman gives us the complete biography - of both the author and her lasting cultural influence. Trade paperback. 320 pages

Shown above: Enjoy a leisurely audio talk by the author about her book, including some quick notes on the private life of writer Jane Austen. Part one of two.

Shown above: Part two of the author's discussion about her book, Jane's Fame.
Mentioned in clips: Becoming Jane | Portraits | Memoir

Browse this book: Preview

Details: This would be an engaging light read for anyone who enjoys Jane Austen's work. To win this brunch gift, please leave email info and thoughtful or interesting comment below. A winner will be picked at random. If host and guests agree that a specific visitor comment is substantial, outstanding, or in some other way has particular merit, they can override pick at their discretion.

International. Through December 15, 2011, 12 midnight EDT.


Contest has ended - winner is here


Brought by: Sasha Soren (Random Magic)
Explore Random Magic: Amazon | Kindle | YouTube | Tumblr | Twitter

Shown above: Jane Austen portrait

Jane Alert! Please join us at this blog on November 14-19, 2011,
for this year's Pemberley Ball. - save that date!

Last season: The Party Scouts | Gallery of Gowns | Dance Card

Jane Alert! Enjoy spontaneous festivities worldwide - or throw your own party - for Talk Like Jane Austen Day (Oct. 30)


* Bookie Brunch is a weekly meet-up, held every Sunday, where book bloggers can have a cup of tea and chat about a particular bookie question of interest. The discussion is open from Sunday through Wednesday, and you’re welcome to drop by any time to add your opinion or read what other people have to say. This discussion is open as well to general readers or bloggers in a different field, authors, publishers and publicists. More details can be found here.

Contact Bookie Brunch
Be a guest at an upcoming brunch: @StoryWings
Bring goodies for a giveaway: @StoryWings
Suggest a question: @LiederMadchen

* Courtesy guidelines: Thank you for coming! All thoughtful comments will be considered and probably get a response from fellow bloggers. In fact, you’re encouraged to talk about it and share viewpoints or include links to relevant materials. We’d like everyone to have a nice time. Differing viewpoints are just fine, even if strongly expressed, but inflammatory or off-topic comments will be removed.

* image source drinks: champagne-strawberries, hot apple cider, apple juice

* HUGE THANKS to this week's guest bloggers and authors - y'all rock!


  1. I don't care about the size of the book, it's the content that is in it that counts. I really would read anything though. I recently found myself reading the hubby's Chemistry text book.

  2. The content is much more important than size or shape of the books. However, I don't really own any strangely sized or shaped books. I do have a very large hardback edition of The Chronicles of Narnia - a special, illustrated edition. It looks so pretty, but is a little awkward to read - that's my excuse for not having read it yet, but I'm planning to do that soon.

  3. I love books no matter what the shape. They will fit on bookcase somehow. The only thing I hate size-wise when it comes to books is super tiny print. I deal with it, but I hate it.

  4. Thank you for including me, Velvet. And for the birthday wishes!

  5. I do enjoy a cup of tea for brunch. A wonderful collection of books posted. I like different sized books. They often capture the imagination before you even open it up.


  6. Amazing post & videos!!! You guys are simply awesome!

    Now, while I'm not a tea drinker, I do enjoy odd shaped books and would give my left [or right] non-existant cajone to have a collection of those *drool* expensive miniatures ;O

    I do have a few coffee table books we enjoy - one is Dali art, another is The Hubble, also the collected drawings of Charles Addams, but my very, very favorite outsized book is called The Lucid Dreamer and is chock-full of incredible art from some of the best names in Surrealism.

    Really enjoyed this - made me remember my daughter had The Jolly Postman along with others fun books back when she was just a wee chip off the ol' MAD ;D

  7. *sips Earl Grey tea* I really like books of unusual size but I don't own very many. Mostly it is the content that matters to me and the thicker the book the better. :)

  8. When I was a costume designer, I LOVED buying high-calorie couture and history of costume books, even though they were impossible to lift. When I became interested in miniature books, I bought them because of their contents, but, oddly, never looked inside them afterwards.

  9. Ok i have to rant here - I am NOT a fan of funky shaped and sized books. Why? because its hard to shelve them. I have alot of art books for fantasy and they are all on one big bottom shelf - that i can deal with. But lets just say here that Jim butcher released a few books recently that were paperbacks that were completely the wrong height for paperbacks. Tell me - what is up with that? YOu are breaking up my shelf symmetry here publishers - stop it - why? because I say so haha regardless I buy the books anyway.

    Liked the vlog V - the bird mistress kind of reminded me of Dark Crystal
    Pabkins @ Mission to Read

  10. For the most part the size does not matter such as childrens books or coffee table books which sort of make a statement however for a novel where you're going to get down to the nitty gritty so to speak I would prefer a smaller book. A lot easier to handle while reading for a longer period of time. I do agree with my fellow commenters here that content is definitely the most important factor in the end.

    Thanks for the giveaway! I'm a Jane fanatic!


  11. @ V- I have Griffin and Sabine too! I love that one! Loved the v-log too! And thanks again for having me!

    @Crystal-Lost Girls and Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Book are definitely going on my wishlist. The War Game looks good, can't wait to here when it will be out.

    @Prue- Love the Fairie-ality: The Fashion Collection from the House of Ellwand

  12. Thank you so much for this amazing giveaway. I am a die hard Jane Austen Fan - - I even have a few tatts to prove it. I studied JA in college and love her wit and humor. I cannot wait to read this new book! Thank you!!

  13. This book sounds fascinating! As an english lit minor I am always interested in literary lives. It's fun to learn how an author's life experiences shaped their work.

  14. I love books, small or big or any size and form. But I enjoy especiall books that have more than 300 pages :) I need a lot of pages to get into the story :)

  15. A book's size has no bearing whether I will like it or not. I have books of all sizes on my shelves. I have a handy husband who built me shelves of various height and depth to accommodate mass paperbacks and slender volumes to huge-i-normous coffee table size. I can see where the big ones are hard to store, but if they have a topic of interest? I don't care- always room for another book. (-;

  16. A book's size usually doesn't matter to me. Being a slow reader, one would imagine that I'd prefer thin books to make me feel like I'm getting somewhere with my to-be-read pile, but I actually tend to be attracted to think books and usually only read think books (less than 300 pages) in between really thick books (especially if they're part of a series- think A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin). I love all books, of all shapes and sizes:)


  17. Book size doesn't matter to me, but personally I prefer quality paperbacks and hardcovers. Mass market paperbacks are my least favourite. I enjoy reading books which are of "medium thickness", which have approximately 200-300 pages.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  18. thanks for sharing the videos :)

    as for me, i dont mind how the book looks. the outside appearance could be a factor but still the decision i will make is still up to the content.

    punkme15 at gmail dot com

  19. Firstly, thank you for the giveaway. Also, I don't mind odd-shaped books as they make a shelf interesting to look at. For a non-fiction book, what really draws me in is an excellent index & list of sources. For fiction, I need a book that brings me to a different reality...I need to be able to get lost in the pages.


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