Un Lun Dun
10 journalers for this copy...
"Un Lun Dun is a young adult fantasy novel.
The book begins with two twelve-year-old girls, Zanna and Deeba, who have begun to notice several strange things happening around them, all of them centering on Zanna.
After she and her friends are attacked by dark cloud, Zanna spends the next two nights at Deeba's house. Deeba is awoken in the middle of the night and spies a moving broken umbrella. The girls follow it into the basement of a building, where they are drawn through a gap between the worlds of London and Un Lun Dun (or UnLondon).
UnLondon is a nonsensical mirror version of London, inhabited by varying creatures and animated items who have been discarded by the inhabitants in London. ..."
Used book bought from Better World Books
Previously part of the Fantasy section of the Port Washington Public Library.
Reserved as a possible backup copy to restart TheLostBook's stalled ring.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure; the story quickly pulled me in. And while I would like to have seen a bit more of character development, I'm fully aware that it's a teen adventure novel, and at nearly 500 pages, more could have been pushing it too far. Personally, when a book pulls me in I want it to keep going, but the teen target audience probably doesn't feel quite like that. Anything too voluminous might feel like a chore. ;)
What I enjoyed the most was the play on words -- the names of things/creatures in UnLondon. Personal favourites: the binja, unbrella/rebrella, logorrhea (oh my, I soooo love that one!) and Black Windows in Webminster Abbey. Brilliant! :)
Naturally, there is no reading this book without thinking of Gaiman's Neverwhere.
Un Lun Dun is a similar story, only slightly "tamer". While plenty of horrid events and ends befall the brave fighters in UnLondon, the descriptions are such that they did not make me cringe on the inside like some Gaiman's scenes do. :)
As far as the message of the book goes, I like it a lot that the story makes a point of making it clear that your destiny is not written, it's often what you make it, and that heroes are not predestined to be heroes, they become heroes by choosing to act as such, often despite dominant opinions and conventions. Thumbs up for that!
My postcard story ...with spelling mistakes corrected! *grin*
Many years ago, in a village at the foothills of Zagreb's Mount Medvednica there lived a miller with his wife and an only son. They were well off and lived happy in prosperity. One day the miller's wife said to the son that he is a grown man and that it was time he got married. The son agreed, telling his mother he loved a girl named Janja. Hearing this, the mother started yelling at him in a rage because Janja was poor and below his station. But the miller heard all this and hushed his wife up, telling the son that he wants him to marry the girl he loves.
And so the wedding was planned, and on the day od the wedding the whole village went to the ceremony, except for the mother, who stayed home, angry with her son and everyone, preparing the food for the reception with great bitterness.
When she saw the whole wedding party coming back to the house, she stood in the doorway and uttered a curse, saying that she would sooner be struck by lightning than have Janja enter the house, and cursing the wedding party to turn to stone.
As soon as said, it was done! A lightning ripped from the sky, struck the miller's wife dead and turned the whole wedding party into stone.
And so, to this day, they all stand petrified in the woods on the slopes of Mount Medvednica, known among the folk as KAMENI SVATOVI = the stone wedding party.
Edited, 19 March 2012:
Sent the book today to ResQgeek. It's going surface media mail so it might take a wee bit to get there. The postcard will be going separately as I couldn't afford to ship the book as a regular parcel, and if it reaches ResQgeek in time, before he has to send the book off, he'll put the card into the book for me. Thanks for that! :)
The original ring is here: Un Lun Dun bookring JEs -- with lots of great reviews and postcard stories.
Starts with vedranaster in Zagreb
ResQgeek, USA (USA) - arrived 10 April 2012
azuki, USA (USA/Canada) - arrived 15 May 2012
glade1, USA (USA only) - arrived 10 July 2012
affinity4books, USA (USA) - arrived 22 August 2012
hyphen8, USA (USA) - arrived 21 November 2012
TomHl , USA (Int if needed) - arrived 11 January 2013
goldenwattle, Australia (Int if needed) - arrived 11 February 2013
Appelsiini, Finland(Int) - arrived 26 February 2013
Ends with TheLostBook in Edinburgh - 18 June 2013
Please could you all do seven things:
1. Make a quick journal entry when you receive the book.
2. Read and send on within four weeks - or make a journal entry to let us know how you're getting on if you need longer.
3. Make a journal entry when you've finished.
4. Include a postcard with a note about your home town - fictional or true. When the book gets back here, it will have all sorts of stories to tell about the places it's visited.
5. Make a second journal entry with your postcard story.
6. Please could you also upload photos or scans of each side of your postcard: one can be attached to each JE.
7. Use the cheapest method of shipping available.
However, when the prophecies turn out to be inaccurate, and Zanna nearly dies in an attack by the Smog, Zanna and Deeba return to their own London, leaving UnLondon to fight on without them. However, Deeba is suspicious and begins to question whether she’s been told the whole truth. What she discovers will take her back to UnLondon for a wild and dangerous adventure.
This book has been compared to “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Wizard of Oz”, and “The Phantom Tollbooth.” To me, this felt closest to “Tollbooth”, especially in the word play, but this book had a much darker, more sinister feel to it. Since this was written for a younger audience, I found some of the clues a bit transparent, but the absurdity and creativity of this parallel world was tremendously entertaining, and I kept reading just to see what else we would encounter along the way. This is an enjoyable epic adventure and a surreal world of imagination.
I need to find a local postcard to include with this book (though I think I know what I'm going to write on it), and then I'll be able to move it along to Azuki.
In November 1860, Abraham Lincoln told his wife that he knew he would be re-elected to a second term, but would die in office. In a series of dreams three days before he was shot, he saw his own assassination. Afterwards, many people reported seeing his ghost in the White House.
The first person to report such a sighting was Grace Coolidge, wife of President Coolidge. she saw him standing at a window of the Oval Office, hands clasped behind his back, gazing out over the Potomac.
Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands was a guest of the White House when she heard a knock on her door in the middle of the night. When she answered it, Lincoln stood before her with his famous top hat and all. The Queen fainted, and when she came to, he was gone.
During one of Winston Churchill's visits to the U.S. during WWII, he spent the night in the Lincoln Bedroom. Churchill retired late after relaxing in a long, hot bath while drinking Scotch and smoking a cigar. He climbed out of the bath naked and walked into the adjoining bedroom carrying his cigar. He couldn't believe his eyes when he saw Lincoln standing by the fireplace, leaning on the mantle. The two men looked each other in the face, in seeming embarrassment, as Lincoln's apparition slowly faded away.
Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Margaret Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Jackie Kennedy, Ladybird Johnson, Susan Ford and Maureen Reagan are among the others who claim to have sensed Lincoln's presence in the White House.
I have one book ahead of this but will start on this afterwards. I am not sure what postcard to put in as I don't know much of any local lore... Hopefully I get some inspiration soon.
5/24: start reading today.
As this is a children's book, I wasn't expected to see characters meeting their ends, and in such horrid ways. I kept thinking, no, this couldn't be happening. And yes, I am curious what's happening in Sans Francisco, Hong Gone and other abcities! Maybe there is a Miaminus?
I have the address of the next reader already but I haven't found my postcard and postcard story yet. All I can find are boring scenes of the beach and I can't think of an interesting tale. Hopefully will find one within the week so I won't delay the ring.
Villa Vizcaya was built as a winter home in the 1910s by James Deering, an industrialist with impeccable taste and a very deep pocket. The 34 rooms are filled with 15th – 19th century antiques and art objects, all imported from Europe. In fact, an order of dishes was on the Titanic as it sank. Part of the building itself is literally ripped wholesale from much older European buildings - doors, windows, fireplaces, and even ceilings and walls. Despite the look, the house boasts modern 20th century technology, with a central intercom system, electric dumbwaiter, and one of the first elevators in the United States.
The elaborate gardens incorporates South Florida's subtropical plants and elements into the French and Italian garden design. In the past, the grounds includes canals with gondolas, and a farm.
The estate's name refers to the northern Spanish province Vizcaya, in the Basque region along the east Atlantic's Bay of Biscay, as 'Vizcaya' is on the west Atlantic's Biscayne Bay.
At the time of Vizcaya’s construction, Miami’s population was around 10,000. More than 1,000 workers were employed in the Vizcaya project, including laborers and craftsmen from the Caribbean and Europe.
The Vizcaya estate is a designated National Historic Landmark. President Ronald Reagan, Queen Elizabeth II, President Ronald Reagan, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain, as well as Pope John Paul II have been hosted at Viscaya Museum and Gardens.
I have an address for affinity4books. The holdup will be finding a suitable story and postcard to enclose. Hope to mail it off later this week, after payday.
The O. Henry Hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina
William Sydney Porter, under the pen name O. Henry, authored “The Gift of the Magi,” “The Last Leaf,” “Of Cabbages and Kings,” and “The Ransom of Red Chief,” to name a few. He was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, on September 11, 1862 and educated at his Aunt Lina’s school in Greensboro before moving to Texas. His adventures in Texas soon landed him in jail, where he began his writing career. Eventually Mr. Porter went to New York City, where he spent his final ten years writing short stories based on his experiences. He died in New York City in 1910 and is buried in Asheville, North Carolina.
When the first O. Henry Hotel was built in 1919 in Greensboro, North Carolina, the New York Times reported that, “No memorial could be more appropriate for ‘O. Henry’ than a hotel and that no other would have pleased his fancy. ‘A lot of famous writers,’ said one guest, ‘have houses they once occupied preserved in their honor, but O. Henry lived most of his life in hotels. A hotel is representative of him as no house could be, and representative, too, of his stories, which were chiefly concerned with the transient guests of life, the waifs and strays of present-day existence who found in hotels and restaurants the setting for so many of their poignant adventures.’ ” The original hotel was razed in the 1970s. The new O. Henry Hotel was built in 1998.
Will mail off tomorrow.
I've attached a scan of the front of azuki's postcard. :)
affinity4books, if there's a postcard from Texas I didn't see it...
I have a couple of books before this, and I still need to find a postcard, but I'll get it moving as quickly as I can.
Now I just have to find time to sit down and compose a postcard in the middle of the holiday craziness!
I'll get it out to the next person as soon as I can, but I'm trying to make as few trips to the post office as possible at this time of year..
Here's a favorite bit:
"Wait . . . really?" the woman said excitedly. "You're a traveler? You came by storyladder? My goodness. It's been years since we've had an explorer. It's not an easy journey, after all. Still you know what they say: 'All bookshelves lead to the Wordhoard Pit.' And here you are.
"I'm Margarita Staples." She bowed in her harness. "Extreme librarian. Bookaneer."
The mountain popularly known as Diamond Head was called Le‘ahi by the ancient Hawaiians. Some say it the name means the forehead or brow of the ‘ahi fish (for the distinctive shape of the peak) and that it was named by Hi‘iaka, the sister of Pele the fire goddess.
When explorers from Captain Cook's expedition climbed it in the late 1700s, they found calcite crystals which they thought were diamonds, and so Le‘ahi got a new name.
Diamond Head is one of Pele's beautiful gifts to Hawai‘i, but vog (volcanic smog) is one of her creations that island residents and visitors could do without! The sulfur dioxide and other gases from the continuing eruption of Kīlauea on the Big Island of Hawai‘i cause acid rain and air pollution - which makes it hard for some people to breathe and causes allergic reactions for others. If only the Klinneract could save us!
Note: this went via media mail, which generally takes about 3 weeks.
BookCrossing: making the whole world a library!
I've read and enjoyed five other of China Mieville's books - Perdido Street Station, The Scar, Iron Council, The City & The City, and Embassytown - so am looking forward to this one.
My travel postcard story
Mardis Gras in New Orleans begins in January and runs through "Fat Tuesday",the day before Ash Wednesday. There are parades every day during this season - some of them local and spontaneous. During the visit of the UnLunDun book to New Orleans in January 2013, it was frequently interrupted in its travels by parades.
The major parades are organized by "krewes", semi-secret social institutions in New Orleans. Riders on the krewe floats toss "throws" to the crowds, often shiny necklaces of gaudy beads.
The tradition is rooted in French settlers, some of whom came to New Orleans from Acadia (now Nova Scotia) and known today as "Cajuns". Mardis Gras as a tourist carnival was expanded and promoted by business interests in the 19th century, and continues today in spite of the 2005 hurricane and flood.
I did notice a few concepts that seemed to relate to Mieville's The City & The City, and the two were written within a few years of each other. So if you liked this, and are looking for a more adult read by Mieville, I think I would recommend that.
"Destiny's bunk," said the book.
My local postcard story
More than 90,000 Wisconsin soldiers from a state population of about 775,000 left their homes to fight in the South during the US Civil War. The 39th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and it was mustered in June 3, 1864. Company C was formed from nearby Waukesha County.
Charles Gaspar was born December 7, 1849 in the Village of Waukesha, and he joined the 39th Wisconsin Infantry, Company C, as drummer, at the age of 14. The role of the drummer was to give signals to the regiment.
39th Wisconsin was among scores of regiments that were raised in the summer of 1864 as Hundred Days Men, an effort to augment existing manpower for an all-out push to end the war within 100 days. These short-term, lightly trained troops freed veteran units from routine duty to allow them to go to the front lines for combat purposes. The regiment was moved to Memphis, Tennessee., June 13-17, where it was attached to 2nd Brigade, Post and Defenses of Memphis, District of West Tennessee. It’s duty was garrison, railroad guard and picket duty at and about Memphis, Tennessee., until September. It participated in the repulse of Forest's attack on Memphis on August 21. The regiment lost 3 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, and 1 Officer and 27 Enlisted men by disease. Total deaths of 31. The regiment was mustered out September 22, 1864, after 100 days.
Gaspar came back to find business success. The former drummer boy became owner of the Gaspar Funeral Home (once the oldest funeral home operated continuously by one family in Wisconsin). He died December 25, 1915. There is an exhibit regarding him in the Waukesha County Historical Society Museum.
I also look forward to reading the postcards slotted between the pages and adding my own.
I must look out for more books by this author. I have also read 'The City and the City', which I can also recommend.
I will PM for Appelsiini's address.
An alternative history of Canberra says that the city was designed along Masonic lines, by the city’s architect Walter Burley Griffin, with Masonic symbols incorporated into the layout. In fact I have seen them drawn over the street maps to illustrate that argument. I have read at least one account claiming there are pyramid designs in the plans too. What all this is supposed to mean, except planned, laid out streets, I don’t know. I would say we Canberrans don’t think on these supposed symbols that often.
Is there perhaps within our planned city another plan…an UnCanberra?
… Or perhaps I’m confusing that with the BC UnCANvention held here last year.
Illustration: Hot air balloons over Canberra.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Thanks for sharing this book! :)
Thanks for sharing this book, it will travel on next week. I still need to find a postcard related to my own story, I'll make another JE with that.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
The Lost Book team is going to enjoy reading the postcards. One of the animators also wants to read Un Lun Dun. After that, we'll work out what the book's next journey will be...