For the second week in a row, there are no new books for the Sunday post so I’m hoping to get a review up instead.  In the meantime, here are some various bits of news or other interesting links I’ve seen lately.

Every year from December to early January, The Book Smugglers hold their annual Smugglivus celebration. This includes guest posts from bloggers and authors in addition to their own end of the year discussions on favorite books.  It started this week and there have been some excellent posts so far including but not limited to the following: Jessica of Read React Review wrote about the similarities between Hanukkah and popular fiction, Harry of Temple Library Reviews discussed some of his favorite books read this year, and a guest post by author Catherynne M. Valente. has an excerpt from The Habitation of the Blessed by Catherynne M. Valente, which is a great book with beautiful imagery and a fascinating world mythology.  (It’s one of the books I’m working on reviewing now.)

Seanan McGuire has sold the first two books in another urban fantasy series, InCryptid, about a family of cryptozoologists simultaneously working to protect the cryptids and humanity from each other.  The titles of these books are Discount Armageddon and Midnight Blue-Light Special.

Chachic’s Book Nook is giving away signed copies of The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner.  The contest is open internationally, and the winner is just asked to post a review of the books somewhere in return.  These are some very good young adult books – I love how Turner leaves out all the details of what is happening until the very end and the second and third books in particular are superb. asks if Joan Vinge’s The Snow Queen the girl power equivalent of Star Wars.  I love The Snow Queen – it was my favorite book read in 2009 and one of my favorites ever.