Thursday, 28 October 2010

Dear Rick Riordan (plus book giveaway)

The Bonkers House
Exmoor
England

29th October 2010


Dear Rick Riordan

You haven’t the foggiest idea who I am but can I just say – thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from the bottom of my weary heart. We went to North Wales for part of half-term, to visit family and you – quite honestly and quite single-handedly - saved our bacon.  We all love going to Llandudno; we just don't like the drive. Whichever way we pick, we pick badly and I swear it's like battling the labyrinth (with all its attendant monsters) to get there in under six hours. 

Anyhow, disaster struck.  James’ PSP died. No struggle, no long drawn-out hand held to the heart staggering. One moment it was happily (or stoically – who knows?) playing Gears of War or FIFA 10 or whatever; the next it was pushing up the daisies. I ask you, is it too much to ask for a console to last for more than a year? Oh, silly me, built-in obsolescence. Yes, I know you can send it back to be mended but they charge such a ridiculous amount of money you may as well buy a new one (which, doubtless, is what Sony want you to do). James isn’t wedded to games but, by heck, on a long journey the PSP is a godsend.

Anyhow, talking of gods, it’s back to you, Rick, or rather to your creation Percy Jackson – half boy, half Greek god, battling monsters all over the place. Classic quest novels, based on the original, er, quests (which is such an obvious idea I’m kicking myself for not thinking about it). Well-drawn characters, nice dose of street-cool, clever droplets of humour and, above all, action, action, action. Let’s just say that James inhaled the first book on the way up and then hauled me into town to track down the next two. Then back to get the next three. Over the next four days he read five books. Not a single moan that his cousin wasn’t around for most of the break. Not a whinge when we went into shops – he just stuck his nose back into his book.

James does love reading and I’m not saying these are the only books he’s adored – he is a huge fan of  Sophie McKenzie, Malorie Blackman, Robert Muchamore, Anthony Horowitz and those ghastly Wimpy Kid books. But I’ve never known him devour books in such a greedy bone-sucking way.

I get the biggest kick in the world when my son says those magical words 'just one more chapter - please!'  I love it even more that he's getting pally with Zeus and Athena and Persephone and Hades (particularly Hades - but then I'm a bit weird like that). I adored the Greek myths when I was his age and I would probably have dipped both toes in the Styx to read thrilling adventures featuring demi-gods.  Of course James reckons he'd like to be the son of Poseidon.  And we have an obvious candidate for a hellhound.  'So who d'you think I'd be?' I asked, fully expecting him to say 'daughter of Hecate' or 'a fury'.  'Daughter of Athena,' he said.  Now, how wise was that? 
So, there it is. You don’t know me and I don’t know you but, for what it’s worth, a big fat smacker from me for keeping us all very happy.

Lots of love

Jane


While we’re on the subject of books, a nice parcel dropped on my desk yesterday. Three big fat bars of Galaxy chocolate and The Truth about Melody Browne by Lisa Jewell. Chocolate and books? Oh, these PRs know me way too well. Now I’ve never read Lisa Jewell and I confess this wouldn’t be a book which would usually scream ‘read me’ to me (the cover is decidedly chick-lit-ish) but apparently it’s a darn good read so I’m more than happy to give it a go. I’ll let you know what I think.
But, because I’m a bit out of my depth here, I asked the nice Galaxy people if I could give away another copy (along with a big bar of chocolate, natch). Idea being, we could both give our thoughts on the book on a later blog here. So, if you fancy turning book reviewer for me, say so in your comment and I’ll pluck a name out of the proverbial hat. I was going to say that I’d inscribe names on pieces of chocolate but (oops) too late.

26 comments:

Sheena Ignatia said...

I want it please, but not the choc!

Nic's Notebook said...

Yay - please enter me!! Any opportunity to try a new author! x

missielizzie said...

I'd love to try for you.

I read Ralph's Party by Lisa Jewell a while back and seem to recall quite liking it!

@missielizzieb

Exmoorjane said...

Sheena: now you can't get picky on me here.... ;)

Nic: you're in the hat...(don't panic, I'll take you out after the draw!)

Lizzie: hmm, not entirely sure that 'seem to recall quite liking it' is a stunning recommendation but guess it could be worse! You're in the hat too..

Peacock Feathers and Diamond Rings said...

Go on then. I'll eat the choc and review the book. We can compare north/sotth exmoor's thoughts on the book!

Peacock Feathers and Diamond Rings said...

shame I can neither type nor spell in the last comment. trying to type too quickly I think...

Julie said...

I'm afraid I can't volunteer to review it - that type of cover really puts me off and I'm probably missing out on loads of jolly reading.

But if everyone else thinks it's OK I might give it a look. That's if I can work out a way of doing it without the cover....

Jules

Exmoorjane said...

Ms Peacock: fear not, not judging spelling or grammar - you're in the hat! Loved your review of Piggy in the Middle, btw!

Julie: I'm with you, I really am. I'm allergic to those cutesy covers...but I am going to sling it in a brown paper bag and keep an open mind, I really am!

Deer Baby said...

My son loved those books too and devoured them. Then started all over again. He even went as Hermes to a theme party complete with little feathers on his shoes.

Don't count me in for the giveaway. Trying to stave off choc.

Exmoorjane said...

DB: what a fabulous idea....always had a soft spot for Hermes... I can't wait to read the new series, the Egyptian ones...has your son read those yet?

Inspired Kathy said...

Add me to the hat!
bkhabel at gmail dot com

Sage said...

Yes please xx xx

Milla said...

as ever you've enthused me anew. Most def got F the first two but am going to track down the others now. And, go on, put me in the hat for the book, I'll girlfully hand over the choc to a child should I win. Have a soft spot for LJ because she was on Late Review once, or her first book was, Ralph's Party and Tom Paulin loved it. Not much got past him. Mark Lawson (or whatever host it was) was open-mouthed, "we give you Heaney, we give you Philip Roth, and what do you rave about? Lisa Jewel."
(kick all these other people off. This prize is mine; I might just be inhaling chocolate these days, rather than eating it, but that has its moments, too)

Bookishmagpie said...

Please enter me! I'd love the chocolate plus the book to read and review on my blog.

@BookishMagpie

Anne Cater said...

Hi - I'd love to review it for you x

Suzanne said...

Dear Jane, You are so right about Rick. America loves him and with him going to the UK this weekend, it looks like England does too. Having met him twice, Rick is the nicest most down-to-earth, regular guy you could ever ask for. When children talk to him he looks at them in the eye with a sincerity that speaks "you are the most important kid here." He'll sit and sign books until his hand is ready to fall off, rather than having one kid go away disappointed. I'm a mom and teacher, and I think he is the best. Oh yeah, I love Percy too,

Rob-bear said...

Such a delight to hear of James and his love of reading. Our grandchildren are well on the way to becoming the same. I hope they'll keep it up.

That said, I have so many un-read or partly-read books around this place that adding one more tome to the list wouldn't be a very smart move. I'll decline your kind offer, thanks. (Besides, it's just about hibernation time.)

elizabethm said...

Yes please, put me in the hat! I'm with you on covers but I read an interview with her once and thought she sounded interesting. Never heard of Rick before but these sound marvellous. I can still remember that sensation of falling into a book and not wanting to come out.

Exmoorjane said...

Kathy and Sage - you're in the (witch's) hat!

Exmoorjane said...

Milla: they're good, they really are.... you're in the hat...

Magpie, Anne: places in the (filling up) hat for you too... :)

Exmoorjane said...

Suzanne: thank you SO much for saying that... I'm stupidly pleased that Rick is nice. Somehow it is just the icing on the cake when an author is not only talented but not up his **** too!! Could name a few authors who don't cut the mustard in that department and it actually puts me off them a bit! :)

Exmoorjane said...

Rob: enjoy your hibernation - but surely THE perfect time to read tons of books??

EM: you are most certainly in the hat.... good to hear that about Lisa Jewell....I'm going to finish off The Glass Room and then I'm onto it... :)

Dulwich Divorcee said...

MMMMmmm, watch out for the truffle Galaxy, it's a scoff-in-one sitting bar x

Sharon said...

I'd love to review it - an opportunity to sit quietly and read (and eat chocolate!) - don't get many moments like that!

Exmoorjane said...

Okay, so into the hat they went and out of the hat came......*drum roll* - Elizabethm

Elizabeth - I'll forward your details to Galaxy and get your prize sorted.

Sorry to everyone else - but, hey, at least you won't be adding on pounds!

ska said...

we love Rick Riordan in our house too - completely unites each one of us, kids and adults alike! And what is great is downloading them onto Ipods (via Audible) gets quiet journeys too with no car sickness...
also listen to alex thingagumabob you know stormbreaker chappie - they are great for the car too...