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28 January 2010

Fiction: My Top 40 Favourite

This is a list of my top 40 favourite books. That is my favourite fiction. I will do another list of my favourite non-fiction and my favourite plays and poetry at a later date. All of these books had an impact on me in some way. It may have been for the simple pleasure of reading them, I may have thought them the best I had read on a particular subject, they may have influenced the way I see the world or I may have liked how the words flow. The why isn’t really important. Put simply, these books are the ones I would rescue from a fire first!

  • Acheron – Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Beowulf – RM Liuzza translation
  • Birthright – Nora Roberts
  • Bitten – Kelley Armstrong
  • Boundary Lines – Nora Roberts
  • Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
  • Chrysalis – Libby Hathorn
  • Dracula – Bram Stoker
  • Dune – Frank Herbert
  • Green Monkey Dreams – Isobelle Carmody
  • Greenmantle – Charles de Lint
  • Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  • Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  • Kirkland Revels – Victoria Holt
  • Lover Revealed – JR Ward
  • Magician – Raymond E Fiest
  • Merlin’s Keep – Madeline Brent
  • Mulengro – Charles de Lint
  • Obsidian Butterfly – Laurell K Hamilton
  • Persuasion – Jane Austen
  • Piers Plowman – William Langland
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • So Much To Tell You – James Marsden
  • Someplace To Be Flying – Charles de Lint
  • Spirits in the Wires – Charles de Lint
  • The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
  • The Horse and His Boy – CS Lewis
  • The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
  • The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
  • The Merry Go Round In The Sea – Randolph Stow
  • The Painted Men – Peter V Brett
  • The Reef – Nora Roberts
  • The Talisman – Stephen King and Peter Straub
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum
  • The Wood Wife – Terri Windling
  • Trickster’s Choice – Tamora Pierce
  • Trickster’s Queen – Tamora Pierce
  • Waylander – David Gemmell

Although I read voraciously, and I have read a lot of books, there are still thousands of books waiting out there for me to read. I am sure I am missing some which will probably make the list after I read them LOL Don't argue with me for something I included that you think is substandard, but I would like to hear what you would include instead! And if you have any of these on your own list.

27 January 2010

Which international authors should I try?

I am doing the Global Challenge for 2010, where I have to read 12 books from different countries on the continents (2 per continent). I am fine for Australasia, Europe and North and Central America, but off the top of my head, I can't think of authors I want to read from South America, Africa or Asia. I may finally get around to reading Art of War by Sun Tzu but I need some suggestions or advice for the others. I tend to read fantasy, science fiction, paranormal romance, some horror, mysteries, classics and gothic romance. I don’t like books filled full of bigotry (I tend to throw them aside in disgust) or survival stories. I know a number of books set in these countries, but they aren’t written by authors local to the environs.

Do you have any recommendations?

25 January 2010

coMEDic relief

Some humour from my facebook album of the same name.
[click to enlarge]

Jacq's books of 2010 (Part 2)

9. Hunter's Prayer - Lillith Saintcrow
10. Coyote's Mate - Lora Leigh
11. Bengal's Heart - Lora Leigh
12. Dragon Actually - G.A. Aiken
13. Street Machine - Christine Feehan
    ^There are one or two more, but they were stolen by the monster under my bed, and I can't be bothered searching for them right this second.

    The list so far... 

      22 January 2010

      Meeting Nalini Singh

      Last week I met Nalini Singh! I've been busy, which is why I have taken so long to write about this. I am going away for the weekend to see my Nan (hopefully I wont meet any friendly wolves on the way to my grandmother’s house – then again, I guess that depends on what author you are reading LOL) and realised its now or never! So I chose now to quickly write up a blog… be prepared for me to ramble, because I don't have time to sit down and review my entry before posting ;-p

      Nalini Singh is author of the “Psy” and “Guild Hunter” series (both of which are Paranormal Romance), as well as a romance author with Silhouette Desire. I haven't read her Rom, but I do read her PR. When Ms S (I really am shit at making up nicknames, so I won’t bother today. I can't call her Bob, it will just confuse you, and Boo Boo Kitty Fish is just too damn long!) first pointed to her books, I wasn’t sure what to think. The basis of the story tended to remind me of my days reading Anne McCaffrey – not for the tone, or the premise, but because of the use of psychic “gifts” in a not so distant, not so different future. When I stopped unconsciously trying to think of them in a particular genre I loved them! We all do it to some degree, we think in clichés, to the point that when something original comes along, we spend so much time trying to make connections (unconsciously or not) rather than lauding the originality. I hate clichés and books that follow the 1-2-3 plot sequence, but at the same time, my brain likes patterns and I spend too much time thinking about the originality that I don't get to appreciate the story as much the first time as I might have otherwise. Luckily, I am a chronic reader, so if I finish a story and can't form an opinion, I go back and read them again. Which I did with Nalini’s Psy series, and now I am hooked! I bought her latest Psy novel, “Blaze of Memory” about a week or two before the signing, and while it was dealing with a non-changeling coupling (I’d come to love the changelings – the twins are sooooo cute!), I really liked the story! I was trying to decide which book I wanted Nalini to sign, and I really had a hard time trying to make a decision. I ended up choosing “Branded by Fire” because I really like how strong both characters are, and the banter that goes on between them because of that. I love how the series keeps you guessing about who the “bad guys” really are, and the constant political byplay going on around and through the stories. And yes, I have my suspicions about The Ghost ;-p

      The book signing was part of the Paranormal Book Club I attend at Galaxy Bookstore (because we are awesome!) – and Nalini is the second author we have had attend. The first was Tracey O’Hara, an Australian PR author, and Nalini Singh is a New Zealander – are you noticing a theme? Aside from them both being brilliant women, with a lot of talent, and being recognised in the global market, they are also local girls, relatively speaking. It’s terrific when we kick arse overseas, because there aren’t enough Australian or New Zealanders being recognised on a global scale – we seem to be dominated by Americans and to a lesser scale, the English. They are great authors, so who is complaining, but at the same time, its nice to see some girls from our part of the world kicking arse!

      [yes, I got distracted again. Heading back on topic now, I swear!]

      So anyway, book club and Nalini Singh. Thank god Ms S asked for people to RSVP because the store was over run by strangers! Book club was unofficially disbanded for the night – normally we sit around in a vaguely circle formation with the snacks making the rounds while we hold a multitude of conversations about paranormal romance, authors, characters, books in general, TV/movies/pop culture and life in general. Seeing as our usual formation is cosy at best, there was no way that many people could be accommodated… okay, maybe if we cleared out all the bookshelves from the first 2 rows! A reporter from the Daily Telegraph was there, photographer in tow – she was to have a chat to Charlaine Harris this Monday, however, she hadn’t read any Nalini Singh. I suspect an exposé on the “cult” that is paranormal romance… you know how people outside the genre think we are either into the dark arts, or desperate housewives? When realistically we are just ordinary citizens. They made a big deal about Beardman being there, because he doesn’t look the type to read romance, paranormal or otherwise, and they were really interested in getting my photo, probably because I wore all black and had demons on my necklace and skeleton earrings LOL anyway, enough about stereotypes (but keep an eye out for the story some time in February!). The line was a decent size, and luckily I was browsing at the front when I saw the line forming, so I jumped inline behind Ms T and Ms C. The line was slow going, but it was casual, so we were able to have a bit of a chat with Nalini before fading into the bookshelves. This is a lot better experience for the fans compared to when we saw Richelle Mead – her “people” kept going “bip bip bip bip” like Normal from Dark Angel. You know, where you quickly pass over your book, it gets some squiggles scrawlled and its out the door for you sunshine! I preferred meeting Nalini Singh and Sherrilyn Kenyon, as it was much more relaxed and friendly. I had my copy of “Branded By Fire” as well as FyreLili’s copy of the same book (we are best friends for a reason!) and Nalini was happy to sign both, as well as get a photo or three taken with me. I then walked over to some friends from the book club and we did what we do every night, not take over the world, but talk all things books and life in general. The topic of conversation we started with was clichéd words used a LOT in romance books that we detest hehe we progressed from there. At the end of the night, after all the uninitiated (we are a cult, don't you know?!) had left, Nalini joined our circle of conversation (Little Britain quotes and all!). She was intrigued by Irving D Cactus and agreed to a group photo with him present, before we started dispersing. I can't wait for the new books!

      15 January 2010

      2010 Reading Challenges

      I am planning to undertake three reading challenges in 2010. One is genre based (kind of) and the other two are geographically based. The challenges I plan to do are reading 15 classic novels, read and review 8 novels by Australian authors, and the Global Challenge, which is 12 novels from different continents (I am undertaking the Medium level, as the Expert requires novels set in Antarctica, and I can't think of any that aren’t survival stories – I hate those!). I am not doing a challenge to read a certain number of books. I did the Shelfari 50 Book challenge in 2008, with the target of 150 books, and read 300. I just don't see the point in me personally trying to read a certain number of books. I already read too many LOL Below are the rules of the games. LOL I've already started on the Global Challenge – New Zealand and North America that is. I will start a Challenge page for these three challenges individually, once I start the challenges. Please feel free to undertake these challenges, and let me know of any others that are interesting! :D

      Classics Challenge
      I'm choosing to aim to read 15 classic novels in 2010.

      Aussie Author Challenge
      TOURIST - Read and review 3 books by 3 different Australian authors
      FAIR DINKUM - Read and review 8 books by Australian authors (a minimum of 5 different Australian authors)

      Global Challenge

      The Easy Challenge
      Read one novel from each of these continents in the course of 2010:
      • Africa
      • Asia
      • Australasia
      • Europe
      • North America (incl Central America)
      • South America
      From your own continent: try to find a country, state or author that is new to you.

      The Medium Challenge
      Read two novels from each of these continents in the course of 2010:
      • Africa
      • Asia
      • Australasia
      • Europe
      • North America (incl Central America)
      • South America
      Try to find novels from twelve different countries or states.

      The Expert Challenge
      Read two novels from each of these continents in the course of 2010:
      • Africa
      • Asia
      • Australasia
      • Europe
      • North America (incl Central America)
      • South America
      • Add two novels which are set in Antarctica.
      Select novels from fourteen different countries or states.

      Edit: I am also going to do the Anita Blake Challenge. Laurell K Hamilton is one of my favourite authors, and it has been a while since I have read them all, and I dont think I have EVER read them in order LOL  The challenge is to read all of the Anita Blake series in order and to review them. There is a prize offered by Headline Review open to everyone who isnt in the US or Canada! Woohoo! I am excited about that because all competions are normally exclusive to the US and Canada LOL

      14 January 2010

      Nalini Sign Signing!! Yeay!

      Nalini Singh will be at my Paranormal Romance Bookclub tonight! I swear the best thing I ever did was move to Sydney! Just got all the shenanigans involving Galaxy LOL So far I met Sherrilyn Kenyon (I swear I was ready to swoon.. hehe I got a hug! and she loved my jewellery and the fact that our outfits matched LOL) and Rachel Caine and Tracey O'Hara, and now, the first signing for the new year is Nalini Singh! I've read her Psy series, and dragged Lillian and Linda to bookclub the week we discussed her work, and got Lill hooked. ;-p I think it’s fantastic that authors from down under (New Zealand is still "down under" as far as I am concerned) like Nalini Singh and Tracey O’Hara are doing it big overseas – Australians & New Zealanders appear to mostly get recognition on their own soil. Anyway, I'm getting my copy of Branded by Fire signed! It was hard choosing which book, and - this is so bizarre - Lill sent down a book to see if I can get Nalini to sign it for her - out of all the books, guess which one she chose? You got it... Branded by Fire :D

      Anyways all very excited!!

      I also got my rewards voucher in the mail yesterday... so I have to find $100 worth of books to purchase... shudder to thing how much money I spent to get such a big reward! But I love it, so it’s worth it!!! *happy dance* I'm not sure what I am buying yet... I have Christine Feehan's Street Game on hold, and I think I am tempted to get Charles de Lint's Mystery of Grace... However, its in hardcover and $50, and the paperback is due out in a few months *le sigh* This is going to be HARD!! I have too many books I want, and I KNOW I will get to the store and not be able to choose any to buy. Oh, actually... I just got into Lilith Saintcrow, so I want to pick up a few of those. It will still be difficult to spend $100 - I know I will be either one book too short or too many!! :D joy!!!!!!!!!

      I'll blog after I meet Nalini tonight!! *squeee*


      [Click to enlarge]

      12 January 2010

      Jacq's books of 2010 (Part I)

      I'm not sure how updated I will be keeping this, as I didn't record my books last year, however I am curious to see if I will surpass my 2008 count.. new entries will be highlighted in updated versions.

      1. Night Shift - Lillith Saintcrow
      2. Branded By Fire - Nalini Singh
      3. If Angels Burn - Lynn Viehl
      4. Trader - Charles de Lint
      5. One Man's Art - Nora Roberts
      6. Magic In The Shadows - Devon Monk
      7. Branded By Fire - Nalini Singh
      8. Night Shift - Lillith Saintcrow
      The list so far...

        Books we are keeping an eye out for...

        This is just keeping a list of books I am waiting for. I always forget when they are due, and get a shock when I see them on the shelves...

        Okay, for starters, I only buy paperbacks, so some of these I will have to wait for ages after they are released into hardcover. Also, because there is no such thing as simultaneous release for the majority of books, these relase dates are more than likely to be US dates. I get them whenever they hit the shelves at Galaxy... If you know of a book/release date i've missed, can you let me know? Cos I know there are heaps of them... ;-p (yes, I know its biased towards PR.. blame the bookclub LOL)

        Pre Decmeber 2009:
        Nov ~ Lover Avenged (Brothers #7) - JR Ward {paperback}
        29th Dec ~ Street Game (Ghostwalkers) - Christine Feehan
        Bad Moon Rising (Dark-Hunters) - Sherrilyn Kenyon {still waiting for paperback}
        Grave Secret (Harper Connelly #4) - Charlaine Harris {HC just released, waiting for paperback}

        January 2010:

        February 2010:
        2nd ~ Unknown (Outcast Season #2) - Rachel Caine
        Archangel's Kiss (Guild Hunter) - Nalini Singh
        Darkness Within (The Lords of Avalon) - Kinley MacGregor

        March 2010:
        1st ~ Shift (Shifters #5) - Rachel Vincent
        Mystery of Grace - Charles de Lint {PB release}

        April 2010:
        Lover Mine (Brothers #8) - JR Ward
        Savor the Moment (Bride Quartet #3) - Nora Roberts
        5th ~ The Desert Spear (Demon Trilogy #2) - Peter V Brett
        27th ~ Wild Fire (Leopard People #4), Christine Feehan

        May 2010:
        1st ~ The Reckoning (Darkest Powers #3) - Kelley Armstrong
        18th ~ Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) - Richelle Mead
        27th ~ Burned ( House of Night #7) - P.C & Kristin Cast
        Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris
        Kiss of Death (Morganville Vampires #8) - Rachel Caine

        June 2010:
        Dreamveil (Kyndred Novel) - Lynn Viehl
        Infinity (Chronicles of Nick) - Sherrilyn Kenyon

        July 2010:
        27th ~ Waterbound (Sisters of the Heart #1) - Christine Feehan

        August 2010:

        September 2010:
        Untitled (Hunger Games #3) - Suzanne Collins
        Crave (Angels #2) - JR Ward
        In Other Worlds - Sherrilyn Kenyon
        Lash of Need - Nalini Singh
        The Search - Nora Roberts
        Jealousy (Strange Angels #3) -  Lili St.Crow
        October 2010:

        November 2010:

        December 2010:

        Unknown/Date Unreleased:
        2010 ~ No Mercy (Dark-Hunter) - Sherrilyn Kenyon

        Sherrilyn Kenyon loves my earrings!

        Jacq reposting from her old blog

        Sherrilyn Kenyon and myself at Galaxy Bookstore last night

        I met Sherrilyn Kenyon!!! Author of one of my favourite series.. She bases her series very heavily in ancient mythology.. yes, it is paranormal romance, but at the same time, they are rip roaring adventures, have some terrific characters, and are so strongly rooted in both ancient Greek, Roman, and other mythologies, as well as modern alternative cultures (mostly Goth LOL) that I cant help but be hooked. The deal with betrayal, pain, and ultimately, of hope. You have lots of monsters, and lots of lovely blades too LOL Basic premise of the Dark-Hunter series: Acheron is an ancient all powerful god (but that is secret) and Artemis wants to tie him to her. She creates the Dark Hunters – to kill the Daimons (created by Apollo, her brother) who are plaguing the human race. It involves demons form a number of pantheons and also a number of deities, and figures from history and mythology. Yes, each novel is around the relationship of two beings, but its also strongly connected to the greater story, that of good over evil, and all the shades of grey. I totally love Acheron.. who couldn’t love him.. he is a talk kickarse Goth with a heart of gold.. I actually think his book was one of the best written.. the first half is set solely in the past – answers all the riddles that are alluded to – its very well written, compelling, painful, deep, and sad.. You just want to give him a big hug, because he went through so much pain and heartache.... more than anyone should have to go through.. that level of degradation.. I think its more real, because people do have to deal with that shit… maybe not on that level, but it happens every day.. to some, every minute of ever day. I am so thankful that my parents protected me from that sort of stuff.. went out of their way to do so, to show us we were loved and cared for. I think its because they had pasts..

        Anyway, I am getting distracted.. Sherrilyn Kenyon, at my favourite bookstore, Galaxy!! I waited in line for nearly an hour.. scoping out books as I progressed in the line, chatting to the people behind me.. they served champagne, tim-tams and cheese (all favourites of mine LOL) and believe me, that tray of champers kept passing by me LOL I had a chat to her publicist while I waited.. lovely lady. And then, it was my turn.. first thing she did, was comment on how cool my lace tunic was – it was hysterical, because we were wearing nearly identical outfits LOL she then noticed my earrings – they are pewter skeletal hands I got from Le Cabinet des Curiosities my favourite shop – it specialises in gothic clothes, jewellery, and stuff, as well as metal band merchandise.. then she noticed my demon head sword pendant – also from the Cabinet.. hehe so we started raving about Goth shops!! I now have more reasons to visit New Orleans – out of all the American cities, its one of the only places I have ever wanted to visit.. I’m not really interested in playing tourist in America, despite so many of my friends living there LOL She plans to visit the Cabinet next time she is in Sydney.. :D anyway, then I got a hug, and her publicist took two photos at my request.. I was on such a high that I went and stole more tim-tams and cheese before leaving LOL

        Okay, she isn’t my absolute favourite author, but she is one have been reading almost constantly in the last 12 months. So I didn’t gush, or squee or anything silly.. it was laid back and causs. Just a random chat with a like minded stranger who appreciated my sense of gothic-influenced fashion, and who happens to write one of my favourite series.. it was fun, a buzz, and I am tempted to buy a second copy of that book and wrap the signed one in tissue paper and lock it away.. I should have bought a second copy to be signed, but I think I like the idea that this one is so loved that it is being read… I have enough knickknacks and keepsakes that get put on display. I don’t need any more LOL although I do keep collecting…. Anyway, it was a great day, and I got a great photo out of it.. OMG I cant believe she loves my earrings!!! Hehehe I will take photos and put them in this post later…

        Anyway, i got a chat with a fav author, a hug, 2 photos, and she spelt my name correctly when she signed my copy of Acheron!!! The hilarious thing is i can’t read her writing.. i can read the "To Jacquelynne" and her signature, but not the message.. she uses so much Greek and Latin that i am wondering if it is even in English!! Although I am guessing she uses a keyboard when she is writing her novels LOL

        *edit - its in ancient greek :D

        book snake?

        jacq reposting from her old blog

        Okay, firstly, I have to have a little laugh..

        I just had this reply posted on twitter. I cracked up laughing ;-p The thing is, I’m a bookwyrm these days.. actually, I have been since the age of 11. I hoard books like a dragon hoards its jewels… Books are my treasure. If I won the lottery I would have the best gorram library in the southern hemisphere! Because I would be buying a large house and fitting it out with wall to wall, ceiling to floor shelving, in multiple rooms, with lovely little nooks to curl up with a book. Ideally with a roaring fire involved, and a bay window. And I could buy every book I have ever wanted to read! And there are just so many of them!!! I never have enough books… I'm reading anywhere from 5-10 books a week, and mostly I am rereading those I already own, as I can only afford to buy one book a week.. I would have all the classics, all the reference books I needed for my research, I would have all the trashy paperbacks, all the non-fiction, and the kids books I loved when I was younger… And I would have the full set (twenty volumes!!) of the Oxford Dictionary!! *blissful sigh* As far as I am concerned, you can NEVER have too many books. You can have not enough books of a certain type, but never too many.. You stop reading books, delving into someone else’s way of thinking, and you become static. Which to me is personally abhorrent. I always want to be growing as a person, to be seeing things from new angles and viewpoints. And no, they don’t have to be classics. Some trashy paperbacks have wonderful gems to share with us! Regardless of their medium LOL

        Anyway, I was tickled pink (that is such a weird expression, don’t you think?) when I got that comment on twitter this morning, that I just had to say something LOL

        ...limbo of libraries...

        Jacq reposting from her old blog

        A quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson about a limbo of libraries…

        In a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear friends, but they are imprisoned by an enchanter in these paper and leathern boxes; and though they know us, and have been waiting two, ten, or twenty centuries for us,—some of them,—and are eager to give us a sign and unbosom themselves, it is the law of their limbo that they must not speak until spoken to; and as the enchanter has dressed them, like battalions of infantry, in coat and jacket of one cut, by the thousand and ten thousand, your chance of hitting on the right one is to be computed by the arithmetical rule of Permutation and Combination,—not a choice out of three caskets, but out of half a million caskets, all alike.
        I like the concept of books being friends who are "imprisoned by an enchanter in these paper and leathern boxes". I dont, however agree with the rest of his concept - that they are hard to look through to find the right one - that they are "battalions of infantry" - I disagree because books become your well-loved friends, and you come to recognise them regardless of if they are wearing the same coat of jackets... its like seeing your best friend in a crowd of hundreds - you may be 150 metres away, but that person is so familiar to you that you can say without a doubt who it is.

        *sigh* now i wanna go hang out in a massive library....

        Be Still, My Heart

        jacq reposting from her old blog

        Okay, this one is for all the bibliophiles out there.. You know you can't help yourselves! You swoon at the thought of a room full of books, you dither for hours at the bookstore trying to narrow down the selection of what books you can afford to buy this time, you enhale deeply the scent of old books - that musky perfume of aged paper and old ink. You, the people who dream about books - even when you are not sleeping.. I am guilty. My biggest obsession, addiction, passion in life is books - reading them, collecting them, reading them again and again. I look at my collection and I feel an immense feeling of elation. They are old friends I can visit whenever I please.

        Now, my biggest day dream is of how I will eventually house my collection. I want to renovate an old house, and dedicate one room to my books. Wall to wall shelves that reach from the floor to the ceiling. Just enough room for a bay window and a door. The furniture will be in the centre of the room (a couch, 2 comfy armchairs and a small desk - standing lamps) and there will be a windowseat in the bay window. The sole focus of that room will be books. On this note, I did some searches to see what is out there.. some of the older libraries are amazing! Trinity College and Cambridge were the most facinating.. But there was just so many pictures... I will have to go back and blog again another time - i had planned on creating kind of a scrapbook about how i wanted it designed, but i got distracted by all this whimsy... so this is the big brother to my personal library... What my library wants to be when it grows up. The abundance of books, that deep rich wood funishings, that dedication to the World of Words...

        And this is more what I will be aiming to achieve..

        Innovative Bookshelves

        jacq reposting from her old blog

        Following the booktagger blog, i wanted to have a look at some other innovative ideas for bookshelves.. so i did a google LOL Some of them I found quite distressing - books stacked higgletypigglety in a way that couldnt be healthy for the books.. But others I saw and loved.. At a latter stage I will make some sketches of the design I want for my future library (when i buy a house and do it up, i plan to devote a book to reading, have a studio, a study, and a room for media, as well as a vegie garden and a paddock out the back for my horse.. i plan to get a dogey cheap house in a hobbyfarm-type area - probably at the moment i am thinking townsville.. but who knows where I will end up.. it is my eventual plan tho. i had thought to build a house - i have drafted so many designs, but i thought restoring and renovating a house would have more quirks - nooks and crannies and character - and no, i have no idea when i will get around to all this! after my Masters, in any case..

        I plan to have a bay window with a seat, and wall to wall, ceiling to floor, bookshelves.. It would be cheery with a fire, but that probably would heat the wall up too much, so probably some artificial heat.. anyway, any comments or suggestions, or links to other great ideas?
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