By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis
This blog, The Bibliotaphe Closet, was birthed from a robust passion for the written word and its printed page. What started as a small collection of three to four books that belonged to a teenager who didn’t have the means to purchase an entire library, a lot of my reading was done through high school English class assignments, public library generosity, and a few finds from local garage sales. By my completion of university with a BA in Creative Writing and English Literature, my book collection grew to a whopping 300 books. As the years passed, the bookstores also grew larger, as did my income, and my consistent love of books. Ten bookshelves later, I’m at a personal best of 3000+ books in my collection.
I then discovered the word, bibliotaphe, which means book hoarder. I’ve moved a total of eight times and while I’ve lost no sleep over selling artifacts on hand through the accessibility of Kijiji, I have always mourned the loss of a good book. I’ve lent some to family members, friends, classmates, never to see them return. I’ve lost a few books while on trips abroad. I’ve even lost books by simply forgetting them at a local café. Which has made me quite vigilant in keeping an up-to-date database of all my “pretties” as I receive them publishers for review, purchase them on my own, or receive them as gifts from my thoughtful, bibliotaphe counterparts.
And what was inspired by the “Stacking the Shelves” blog meme, “Stuffing the Bibliotaphe Closet” was generated to feature the latest additions to my perpetually growing library.
While others may have “skeletons” in their closets, the only things in mine—are books. Well-loved books.
Here’s this week’s Stuffing the Bibliotaphe Closet edition. Not a bad start to the New Year.
Books for Review:
A special thanks to Random House of Canada
for providing me with the following copies for review:
Wonder by Dominque Fortier
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
All the Broken Things by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer
I just recently completed a review on Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and am thrilled to have received Hollow City, its sequel, in the mail as soon as it hit the bookshelves. I trust it’s just as eerie and imaginative as the original Peregrine story and I can’t wait to turn its pages as soon as I complete my read and review of the translated novel by Dominique Fortier, Wonder, which is what I’m currently reading now. Soon after that, I will be privileged to read All the Broken Things, a tender story about a 14-year-old boy named Bo, a refugee from Vietnam, who lives in a small house in Toronto with his sister, Rose, a girl severely disfigured by the affects of Agent Orange.
Books I Bought:
Hellgoing by Lynn Coady, published by Astoria, an imprint of House of Anansi
11/22/63 by Stephen King, published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin, published by Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Book Group
While I’ve read and reviewed a number of Lynn Coady’s work, such as “The Antagonist,” which was nominated for the Giller Prize in 2011, I could not help but cheer for the success of her latest work, Hellgoing, which was not only nominated for the Giller, but its Grand Prize Winner in 2013. As a short story writer, I can certainly appreciate the craftsmanship of the short story, which is the collection held within the pages of Hellgoing and something I look forward to reading as I’ve heard Coady’s ability to create true and humorous dialogue is something to wonder at and applaud.
11/22/63 is a massive mountain of a book, totalling 849 pages in trade paperback, it is not only about the assassination of JFK, but time travel, which are topics King usually steers away from when his usual works feature the darkest of our fears when roused in his works of fiction that belong to the genre of horror. Stephen King is much beloved as he is idolized, a storyteller known to engage his readers in the dark of his stories.
And while I didn’t love Shop Girl, I congratulate Steve Martin for expanding his resume to include “creative writer” when he’s already a famous actor and comedian. Why write unless you actually have a story to tell and a voice to tell it in? And this novel also includes colourful graphics of art reproductions to accompany the story of fine art collecting. This is certainly a book I will check into as soon as I complete a few of my scheduled reviews.
Books I Won:
An ARC of Some Thing Real by Heather Demetrios, published by Henry Holt
A copy of Under the Jeweled Sky by Alison McQueen, published by Source Books
I was lucky enough to win a copy of Some Thing Real and Under the Jeweled Sky both from contests on Facebook hosted by the books’ publishers. Thanks to Henry Holy and Source Books for these additions to my collection!
What does your Bibliotaphe Closet look like this year?
What book are you most looking forward to reading right now?
Of the books listed above, which are you most interested in reading?