Archive for June, 2010

June 10th, 2010


by Gwen


It is Bloggiesta time thanks to MawBooks.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to tackle all of those irritating and just haven’t made the time tasks that you have been putting off.

I plan to:

  • Catch up on reviews
  • Get some major reading done for the reviews I have due next week
  • Sort out the difference between tags and categories and clean both up
  • Maybe finally find a layout that really fits what I am trying to achieve.
  • Learn a lot
  • Write up the author interview questions for the poor dear author that has been very patient with me.
  • Drink more Diet Coke than usual
  • Tweak, Clean, and Organize the blog and my schedule
  • Update policies and add a page with my reviews published in the San Francisco Book Review & Sacramento Book Review.
  • Meet a bunch of new to me bloggers

There is more, but I am learning that smaller goals work much better for me.


June 8th, 2010

Android Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Ben H. Winters ~ Review

by Gwen


Tolstoy isn’t for everyone. I have even written about Russian Literature and why it confuses me. Still, when I heard that Quirk Books and Ben H. Winters were coming out with Android Karenina, a mash-up of a story that I love, I just had to read it. I have read all of the mash-ups and if they can make me like Jane Austen, certainly they can make reading Tolstoy palatable.

Was Android Karenina more palatable? Yes and no. No, because it was still hard to get into; I think I was in over 100 pages before it felt less like work and more like fun. Yes, because all of the android craziness adding many interesting facets to the story and once I got into it, it was like a cool glass of water.

Things that usually bother me about Russian classics didn’t faze me, which I was grateful for. Characters were easy to identify and Winters kept the switch of patronymic names, nicknames, and other names to a minimum. Thank you!

Is this new mashup for everyone? No, sorry, it is still Tolstoy and a chunkster at 538 pages. Do I think that it will appeal to a new group of readers? YES, if you like steampunk, please try this. Android Karenina is a great introduction to Russian Literature for those that have run the other way in the past.

One funny thing that kept hitting me while reading…My favorite movie version of Anna Karenina is the 1948 one starring Vivien Leigh. The whole time I was reading, I was picturing her as Anna. If only she could play the part when and if they make a movie of Android Karenina….

Want to win a Quirk prize pack? (I won one of these when they released Dawn of the Dreadfuls and it is cool! To win, go to the Quirk Classics blog and let them know that you read your review here at Chew & Digest Books.

Prize pack includes:

· Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith

· How To Survive a Horror Movie by Seth Grahame-Smith

· Dracula’s Heir: An Interactive Mystery by Sam Stall

· Extreme Encounters by Greg Emmanuel

· How to Tell if Your Boyfriend is The Antichrist by Patricia Carlin

· And more!

Don’t forget, go to the Quirk Blog, and say that you saw it at Chew & Digest Books to win.

I want to thank Quirk Books for their striving to make classic literature fun and bring it to the masses. They sent me the book as well, thanks.


June 7th, 2010

Thumbing Through Thoreau ~ a Review

by Gwen


Thumbing Through Thoreau: A Book of Quotations by Henry David Thoreau.

Books of quotations are usually fairly bland, but Kenny Luck has put together a beautiful coffee table book of Thoreau quotes along with illustrations by Jay Luke and Ren Adams. Thoreau is a favorite of mine and the beautiful illustrations jump off of the page while blending in with the beautiful artwork.


“I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well.”
(Walden, “Economy,” p. 4)

Each quote comes complete with it’s own illustration which means that every page is a surprising treat.


“Truth is always paradoxical.”
(Journal I, vol. 7, June 26, 1840, p. 153)

This obviously isn’t a traditional book that you take to the beach, but it is a stunning keepsake filled with wise quotes that would make a great gift.

Kenny Luck is a graduate student at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History & Political Science from the same institution. He writes for The Weekender – an arts and entertainment weekly – and The Independent. He is currently working on his second book. He enjoys recording music, book browsing and travel.

My copy was supplied by Pump Up Your Book and I thank them!


June 6th, 2010

What Are You Reading? (6/5/2010)

by Gwen

Books completed last week:

Books on tap for this week:

Posts/Reviews last week:

Books I Still Need to Write Reviews On:

My Good News:

I took on the social media duties for the Sacramento Book Review and the San Francisco Book this week. Managing multiple facebook fan pages and twitter ids is a lot like juggling, but it will work out and I am excited.


June 5th, 2010

Showing My Love of Books

by Gwen

This weekend, we are packing up the truck and talking our dog on his first road trip. That means that my handmade finds have to be either portable, wearable, or kill-time-because-I-hate-road-trips-able.


Scattergram Zine, by Welsh Rabbit, $2

(No, I am not taking the stacks with me..this is a zine about Library School.)


Read Books Not T-shirts Shirt, by Aperture Agog, $20


Spalted Maple Necklace Pen, by Moon Sky Woodworks, $50


Word Owl Field Bag, by Rainbow Swirlz, $20

That is it for the bookish shopping for this week. Catch you when we get back and cross your fingers that the dog doesn’t get car sick.