Monday, August 31, 2009

The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost. Troost is following in the footsteps of my favorite travel writer, Bill Bryson, providing readers with a narrative arc that is equal parts humor, philosophy, self-deprecation, and actual information. When his girlfriend, Sylvia, takes an NGO job, they move to Kiribati, a nation of tiny coral atolls lying forgotten in the South Pacific. What he imagined would be two years of ease in tropical splendor, writing the great American novel, turned out to be two years of arduous sweating in tropical squalor, where subsistence wealth isn’t an oxymoron so much as a way of life. You’ll never look at fish, dogs, or beer the same way after reading this book, and if you’re like me, you’ll be chomping at the bit for more.

ONE FOOT WRONG by Sofie Laguna. Hester Wakefield is without a doubt the most unfortunate and pitiable child I’ve ever encountered in the world of literature. Kept imprisoned by her unbalanced, zealously religious mother, she has only fleeting contact with the outside world, and the only life she knows is one of torture, pain, and abuse of every imaginable stripe. She meets her first and only friend when she is banished to an asylum and from there she makes halting steps towards recovery. This book is almost relentlessly dark and certainly not for the faint of heart, but readers who stick with it will discover an ending that practically defines poetic justice and a character whose haunting life will resonate long after the book is put down.

~Emily Crowe

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jane Austen fanfiction

Since the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies made such a splash on the pop culture scene earlier this year, I've been pondering the phenomenon of Jane Austen fanfiction. Fanfiction, for those of you not already aware, is basically taking already existing characters from literature, movies, TV, or whatnot and using them to write original fiction. If the characters are from works that are not yet in the public doman, then writers cannot make any money from these fics but that's not the case for Jane Austen. As such, fanfiction writers have really flooded the market in the last two years with sequels(or companion pieces) to all of her works, but of course P&P is the one most frequently honored in this way.

Some of them are quite, quite good. Some of them are awful. Most fall somewhere in between, being not particularly well written but somehow satisfying the craving we all have to know more about Lizzy & Darcy after they get married. My sales reps keep me in good humor by keeping me in Austen fanfiction, so in the last few years I've read a slew of 'em.

P&P&Z, about which I've blogged here and elsewhere, is pretty well done (and so financially successful that the publisher is releasing Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters next month) and thoroughly entertaining. If you're not already a devoted P&P fan, thoug, it's probably not the best book to pick up if you'd like to become one.

I recently read my first Sense and Sensibility sequel called Willoughby's Return by Jane Odiwe. Though all of the old Dashwood family make an appearance, this novel centers almost exclusively on Marianne and Colonel Brandon after their marriage. They are, of course, passionately in love, but their lack of open communication creates strife between them, especially when that old blackguard Willoughby returns to the neighborhood. Readers who are well-versed in Austen will find most of the novel predictable, but it's such fun revisiting favorite characters like these that I, for one, find it easy to overlook the prose and plot points that I would otherwise find lack merit.

About Jane Austen fanfic more anon, but for now it's time to close up shop so that I can go home to start my advance reading copy of S & S & Seamonsters. Should be rollicking good fun! And just to whet your own appetite for it, click this link to see a promotional YouTube video that Quirk Books, the publisher, has assembled for our viewing pleasure.

~Emily Crowe

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to School fun!

Well it is that time of the year again. Before the leaves turn and the temperature drops it's time to get the kids set up for going back to school.
Here at the Odyssey we have some great eco-friendly and smart ways to do it.

Back to School Checklist...


Sigg Bottles!

Sigg bottles are good for the environment and great for your kids. Keep them happy and hydrated!

prices range from 18.99 to 24.99.


Cool New Bags!

A great way to carry your homework home with these distinctive bags from Crocodile creek.

priced at 15.00!


Lunch Time Favorites!

And just in fun new designs from your favorite in reusable sandwich and lunch bags! Snack Taxi snack bags are the best eco-friendly way to pack a lunch!

snack size 7.00
sandwich size 9.00


Writing Utensil Cool!

Who wouldn't want to do their homework with these flavorful smelling pencils!

Priced at 1.25 a piece or 14.79 for a set of 10.


We also carry tons of fun notebooks and school accessories from erasers to folders! So stop on by to check it out before you head back to school!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Must Read!

I just finished Lev Grossman's The Magicians. It is truly an engrossing read! This book chronicles the journey of Quentin Coldwater as he is inducted into a secret world of magic.
Just when Quentin thinks he has to give up his childish inclinations and go to college he is accepted into a university for magicians.

Paying homage to all the fantasy we read as children (from Tolkien, to Rowling, and even Lewis), Grossman explores what it means to be able to do whatever one wants and what happens when fantasy becomes all too real.

Grossman writes a suspenseful buildingsroman that will appeal to even those who are not familiar with children's fantasy!

Plus cool things to explore on the author website!

To order you copy at the Odyssey, click here.

~ Nieves

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A wonderful Web Video from Green Apple Books

Dear readers:

Herewith is first of four hilarious videos that detail a "fight" between the book and the Kindle.

Emily Russo Murtagh

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

365 days of things I love

Dear Reader,
Last year one of my favorite books that came out during the fall was

Women who Read are Dangerous

Compiled by Stephan Bollman

retails at 24.95
place an order here at the odyssey

It is a beautiful coffee table book that explores the history of the reading women with images from some well know artists from the days when a women reading was considered rebellious and strange to the present.

Well the Odyssey now carries calendars so if like me you can't get enough of this beautiful imagery of the reading woman you now can have 365 days of it!
Here are some items we carry below!

The Reading Woman Wall Calendar

Retails at 13.99
place an order here at the odyssey

The Reading Woman Engagement Calendar
Great for the desk or your bag!

Retails at 14.99
place an order here at the odyssey

The Reading Women Mini Wall Calendar

Retails at 7.99
place an order here at the odyssey

We of course have a varied and awesome assortment of other 2010 calendars! Including some great Academic ones that will help both student and teacher alike start their school year!

And of course all left over 2009 calendars are now 75% off!

Come get em while they're still hot!