Thursday, 24 November 2011

Wicked Autumn

"November comes 
And November goes, 
With the last red berries 
And the first white snows.

With night coming early, 
And dawn coming late, 
And ice in the bucket 
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn 
And the kettles sing, 
And earth sinks to rest 
Until next spring."
- Elizabeth Coatsworth

Dear members,

While our time with "The Night Circus" has come to an end, another month arrives and with it, brings a whole different theme.
November certainly has an air of mystery to it, considering that by now the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder. As such, our selection for this month will help get us through these chillier nights to come.
Our winning pick for our November selection?


It has already garnered awards and great reviews, including being listed by Library Journal as the Best Mystery of 2011. Great stuff!

About the author:

From her website:

G.M. Malliet won the Agatha Award for Death of a Cozy Writer, which initially won the Malice Domestic grant. She did post-graduate work at Oxford University after earning a graduate degree from the University of Cambridge, the setting for the St. Just mysteries.

Happy reading everyone!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Magical World of The Night Circus

Dear members,
I have come across interesting tidbits that's all about "The Night Circus" and would love to share with you all!

Step into the actual Night Circus in this fun interactive experience. What would your cards say?

 There's a different story every time depending on the choice you choose to follow... how enchanting! You've got Herr Thiessen to thank for.

To be a Reveur...

“Something about the circus stirs their souls, and they ache for it when it is absent.”

With the circus came travellers. Men and women dressed in black and white, each with a touch of red somewhere about their person. A scarf, a pair of gloves, a hat, a ruby necklace. There's a group of them over by the bonfire, now.

I just love the fact that followers of the Night Circus are known as the Reveurs, and are identified by wearing a red scarf! Personally, I have always been a fan of wearing red, especially when it comes to red scarves, so now when I wear one, it takes on a whole new role...

Turn your home into the Night Circus...literally!

Someone has actually attempted to decorate their home to the tune of "The Night Circus"- red, white, and black. I absolutely love the clock window- I simply must have this in my home someday!

The more I read this book, the more I want Le Cirque des Reves to exist. Oh if only! But who knows- maybe someone would be so overwhelmed by inspiration and can possibly create such a feat... only time can tell!

Interesting book displays for "The Night Circus"

At Warwick's Bookstore:

One independent bookstore did an interpretation of Herr Friedrick Thiessen's clock!

via Erin Morgenstern's site.

Q. How would you summarize your book in one sentence?

A. I would use a vaguely incoherent run-on sentence. It would involve the words “circus,” “nocturnal,” “Victorian,” “magicians,” “black,” “white,” “love,” & “choices” and also the phrase “shades of grey.” It likely wouldn’t do the book as a whole justice, though.

Various cover editions from all over the world:

The UK version hardcopy cover- although our North American version is lovely with black and swirly designs- I so would like this red version with the clock!

Erin Morgenstern's playlist as she wrote "The Night Circus" (via Largehearted Boy):

It might be worth noting that The Night Circus was written (and rewritten) over a period of more than three years, so I listened to a lot of music while writing. A whole lot. Several of these tracks could really be full albums, put on repeat and cycling over and over through black-and-white striped tents.

"A Seated Night," Moby
My teenage mix-tape making self is going to show through immediately, since I can't structure a playlist without giving it a carefully chosen tone-setting opening. Since the book begins standing outside the still-closed circus gates it needed a proper overture and this fits the bill perfectly and is a sound I always love, almost-classical with a modern bent

"Prelude" and "Rooftop," Bernard Herrmann (from the Vertigo film score)
With a top hat tip to both Hitchcock & also Punchdrunk's Sleep No More, Bernard Herrmann has composed what became the soundtrack to my dreams over the last few years. I have wandered darkened hallways to these notes and they are deeply embedded in my writing brain, moody and mysterious with something disconcerting lurking just around the corner.

"Aria," Delerium
In those bleak moments when I couldn't find my story in all the drafts and rewrites and second guessing, I would put my headphones on, put my hands over my eyes and picture every key moment of the book movie-trailer style in my mind. Seriously, I did. I also decided it was a good minute or two too long to be a really good trailer, but it still sounds circusy in my head and was always helpful for focusing.

"White Winter Hymnal," Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes was my revision music of choice for the last few rounds, in that constant repeat way, maybe because there's something timeless about their sound. It took me a while to realize the appropriateness of the lyrics in this particular track, with the scarves of red and all.

"Favorite Cities," Azure Ray
I often write to Azure Ray, they have a wonderful tone to their beautiful, layered voices and this particular song was so circus-evocative to me that I ended up sneaking the title in to the book.

"Cataracts," Andrew Bird
For a long time Andrew Bird was that guy my friend Carey knew, and I still regret that it took me so long to actually start listening to his music. Another album that got the constant repeat treatment, this track in particular, especially for the moments of melancholy.

"All I Need," Radiohead
I'm starting to feel repetitive now. I write to Radiohead frequently and In Rainbows was on heavy rotation during circus construction. This track in particular has always been my favorite.

"Behold! The Night Mare," Smashing Pumpkins
True story: my very first live concert was a Smashing Pumpkins show that I was dragged to by friends even though I barely knew their music. I became more familiar with them years later, post band break-up. This was always a walking around the circus late at night with a single red rose kind of song.

"Sister Janet," Tori Amos
I had to include a Tori song, she's one of those artists who I started listening to at age 13 and grew up and evolved with. Between the tone and the "wizards, black and white," this one is the one that ended up on the circus soundtrack.

"Lonely Ghosts," O+S
Playlist trivia: O+S is a group featuring Orenda Fink from Azure Ray. Always an Isobel song, we stay because we don't know where else to go.

"Signs," Bloc Party
Pandora kept throwing this one at me and it would catch my ear every time, with that twinkling light Ice Garden sound. Is it a glockenspiel or something? I have no idea, but it caught my attention so much that I would stop and listen to it and between the ravens in the oak tree and the sadness at the funeral it needed to be a circus song.

"Cosmic Love," Florence + the Machine
A night-sky love song. This one I'm not explaining beyond that, I love Florence + the Machine too much to try.

"The Trapeze Swinger," Iron & Wine
Always my ultimate circus song, epic and swooping and carnival-laden. It now has a number of circus-driven memories both book-related and personal tied to its notes and layered over the lyrics, high highs and low lows all around a frightened trapeze swinger.

Words to describe The Night Circus?


The Butterfly Circus

I close my eyes, then I drift away, into the magic night I softly say. A silent prayer, like dreamers do, then I fall asleep to dream my dreams of you.
-Roy Orbison
Dear members,

By now, the majority of us is more than halfway through our latest book club pick: Erin Morgenstern's "The Night Circus".

Keeping that in mind, the theme of wonder and magic that lies within the realm of the circus has inspired many to write and produce films based on this aspect.

As such, I would like to share with you all one of my favourite short films, which ties to this theme- as well as being very inspiring and beautiful- "The Butterfly Circus".  Starring in the short is the amazing Nick Vujivic.

You can also find the full version of the short on YouTube if you wish to watch it in it's entirety, which I highly recommend!

Here is the trailer: