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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Harry Potter Tag!

I’m not quite sure if this is technically a book tag, but whatever. Harry Potter is a book. I like books. It counts. Also I tag you, Ace.

1. Favorite book
The Prisoner of Azkaban. I know that a lot of people either say this is their favorite book or their least favorite book. It’s usually not somewhere inbetween. Well, it’s my favorite. What I want to know though is WHY DO THEY NEVER UTILIZE THE TIME TURNER WHEN FIGHTING VOLDEMORT. GAH.

2. Favorite movie
The Order of the Phoenix. Luna makes this movie for me. It’s just so great.

3. Least favorite book
The Chamber of Secrets. I don’t know what it is about this book. I don’t love it as much as I love the others. Don’t get me wrong – I love this. Just… a particle less.

4. Parts of the books/movies that made you cry
SPOILERS. End of the 4th movie where Diggory’s dad finds him, End of the 5th book when Sirius happens, End of the 6th book when Dumbledore happens. The entire 7th book when everyone happens. Jk Rowling basically ripped apart my emotion throughout the last four books.

5. If you could hook up with any HP character who would it be?
Considering they’re all teenagers, nobody. Sirius Black minus ten years maybe? I don’t know.

6. Favorite character
Hagrid. I want a Hagrid to hug and tell secrets that I don’t want to stay secret to.

7.What would your Patronus be?
Probably a house cat because I’m very much on my way to becoming a crazy cat lady.

8. If you could have the Resurrection Stone, Invisibility Cloak or the Elder Wand which one would you choose?
Invisibility Cloak! I’d do all sorts of goofy pranks on people. :”D

9. What House would you be in?
I’d like to say Ravenclaw, but it’d probably be Hufflepuff.

10. If you could meet any member of the cast who would it be?
Emma Watson I think. She’s a very interesting and driven person and I feel like I would like who she is.

11. Have you played any of the video games?
Nope!

12. If you were on the Quiddich team which position would you play?
Probably Keeper. I’m definitely not a ‘running around and getting rammed into’ sports person.

13. Were you happy with the ending?
No. Yes. Kind of. I don’t know.

14. How much does Harry Potter mean to you?
My children will read them.

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Posted by on 03/24/2015 in Book Tag, Books

 

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Top 5 Wednesday: Books that Make you Think

Ignore the fact that today is Thursday. Hush hush hush. Top 5 Wednesday was created by Gingerreadslainey on youtube, and here is the complete list of posters if you’d like to see what their choices are too.

But moving on, here are the top five books that have made me think.

5. Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba
This series, if you have not read it, is about a note book. When someone’s name is written in this note book, that person dies. When the main character finds this note book, he decides he’s going to use it to carve out a new world, one that will be perfect, free of crime. To do that, he has to kill anyone he deems evil. Murderers, rapists, so on. Throughout this book, you’re torn. The author writes this character as believing he’s actually doing good, but at the same time, he’s still killing people, still murdering. It made me think… if I would be given the same power, would I attempt the same thing? Obviously, I and everyone would like to say ‘no’ straight off, that I’d never do anything like that. But that’s also what a lot of the characters who ended up handling the Death Note thought originally too. And then they were introduced and seduced by its power. So honestly I don’t know. I’d like to say I wouldn’t use the Death Note, but if the situation became dire… would I?

4. Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
This is another one of those ‘what if’ situations. The plot of this story follows two brothers whose mother dies. The boys try to bring her back to life using alchemy, but it backfires. Horribly. One boy loses his arm and leg. The other loses his entire body. Before his soul can be taken as well, his brother ties it to a suit of armor. That’s when the story picks up – these two characters, one sporting automail on his limbs, the other nothing but armor, try to regain their original bodies, and try to discover why their alchemy failed. Throughout the story, the taboo of bringing humans back to life is philosophized about, and it makes me wonder how far I would go to bring someone back that I loved if the methods were available. Would I sacrifice my entire body, becoming nothing but a shell? I don’t know.

3. Good Women of China by Xinran
This book is a collection of memoirs, so to say. The book was written by a woman who hosted a radio station in China in the 1980s. Anonymously, different women would call in and tell their stories on the air, unfiltered. This book is the collection of those stories. This book was actually assigned reading for one of my classes back in 2010, and I read it much faster than was assigned. I just couldn’t stop. The things that some of these women went through… blows my mind. It really opened my eyes to cultural differences between different countries, the every day experiences people have, and the differences between how opinions are valued. If you want a thought-provoking book, read this one.

2. Switching Time: A Doctor’s Harrowing Story of Treating a Woman with 17 Personalities by Richard Baer
As I probably mentioned, I have a degree in psychology. This kind of stuff is fascinating to me, regardless of the fact that I have since switched my focus of study to computers. This book is essentially a log book of a psychologist (or psychiatrist, can’t remember) who was doing what the title suggests. First off, multiple personality disorder is kind of fuzzy in the psychology world. A lot of people say it’s a legitimate diagnosis, a lot of people say it isn’t. I can’t say for sure myself. I have a bachelor’s, not a PhD. I’m hardly qualified to make that decision. But regardless, one thing that is agreed upon to result in the symptoms that may/may not be diagnosed as MPD (or DID – dissociative identity disorder) is that the person has gone through continuous trauma. Whether it be abuse, something they’ve witnessed, whatever. Something bad has happened to or around this person. And while reading the different personalities alone is fascinating and gets me thinking, I also get this underlying sense of dread and sorrow. This person had something terrible happen to them. I want to hug the person but at the same time I know it won’t do any good. I just.. buh. This book made me sad. It made me think.

1. Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
This book is set in a place where every thought you have is broadcast out loud to anyone close enough to hear it. Obviously, this made me think about my inner dialogue. What stuff do I say to myself all the time? I’m not even really conscious of it anymore, I just think stuff. And what if that ‘stuff’ could suddenly be heard by everyone? I have a feeling that friendships would become stronger or break apart nastily. Relationships would have a whole new definition of ‘no secrets’. It would definitely be interesting and honestly not something I think I’d want to experience. No thank you, please.

THE END.

 
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Posted by on 03/12/2015 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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Book Review (Series Review) – Saiyuki

Saiyuki by Kazuya Minekura
Saiyuki, Vol. 1 by Kazuya Minekura

Saiyuki is a nine volume manga series. It has two prequel and two sequel series, each having between 5 and 10 Saiyuki, Vol. 6 by Kazuya Minekuravolumes in them as well. This review will be on the 9 volumes in the main series.

This series begins in Shangri-la, essentially mainland Asia. After a wave of strange energy has been released from India, all of the youkai (demon spirits. Though not ‘evil’ naturally) in the land are driven mindless and violent. They go crazy, killing with reckless abandon. The plot begins when the four main characters are set on a quest to travel across Shangri-la to determine the source of the strange energy and the reason behind the youkai madness.

Saiyuki, Vol. 2 by Kazuya MinekuraThroughout their travels, the reader gets to see how wonderful these characters are. A gun-happy priest, a womanizing half-youkai, a child-like monkey king (think Goku from Dragonball Z – both of these Saiyuki, Vol. 7 by Kazuya Minekuracharacters are based on the same myth!) and an overly polite youkai with a dragon jeep and more to him than he lets on. The interactions between these characters I think are the best part of Saiyuki. Minekura-san really knows how to develop characters through dialogue, through flashback, through body language. Through body language! There was character development through body language!

Reading this, you get a sense of extreme closeness between these characters, even when they’re threatening to kill each other (and trying to). I know some fans of this series are adamant that there is romantic feelings between Saiyuki, Vol. 3 by Kazuya Minekurathem. And… well… I don’t know what to say to that. I mean, seeing how they interact, it seems… plausible. There is nothing that blatantly says this, mind you, but they just seem to.. I Saiyuki, Vol. 8 by Kazuya Minekuraknow don’t know, seem so attached to each other (in the ‘I hate you, die’ kind of way). You’d have to read it. And then again, like I said, there’s nothing that actually says there is. So if you’re not looking for these hints, you won’t find them. So it comes down to the reader. (Meaning, if you’re open to reading a theme like that, you’ll like this because you’ll find hints. If you’re not open to reading a theme like this, you’ll like it because you won’t find hints).

Right right, moving on from my obsession with character interactions. Each of these characters has a well-developed history. Even the ‘bad guys’ have them, which I came to really like as well. You get to see why each Saiyuki, Vol. 4 by Kazuya Minekuracharacter has come out like they are. You become attached to them, even though each has situations that could be called questionable at best riddled throughout their stories. The author makes who Saiyuki, Vol. 9 by Kazuya Minekurawould be normally unlovable, loveable. I love these characters. I want stuffed animals of them. I want posters of them on my walls. I want to meet them (I know at least two of them would be pleasant company).

Right. The plot! The plot of this is rather straight forward at the beginning – go to India, find out about weird energy. Each volume though introduces struggles to that goal. Events intertwine and link back to each other in the most surprising ways. I loved it. Bad guys and good guys kinda blur. Bad guys become really bad guys. It’s an interesting mix, the events of these books and how they effect those in them.

Saiyuki, Vol. 5 by Kazuya MinekuraAnd as for cons of these books… uhm.. not long enough? 😀 I honestly can’t think of much I didn’t like about them.

All in all, each book I read was either a five or four and a half star book. At the end, I’ll average the rates out to give a series rating. I WANT TO READ THE SEQUEL. I NEED IT. GO READS THESE BOOKS.

Overall rating: 4.83/5 stars.
I love it. I’m obsessed. Halp.

 
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Posted by on 03/10/2015 in Books, Review

 

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5 Books on a Deserted Island!

I couldn’t find the originator of this book tag. Their video was deleted off youtube and I can’t remember their name. So if this is your tag, please let me know so I can credit you!

If you were stranded on an island and could only bring five books with you, what would they be?
THIS IS SO HARD. First off, what five books could I stand to read over and over? Combine with what five books could I not be without? Combined with, if I need fire tinder, what would I be willing to sacrifice?!?!

Okay, okay. If I must.

First, Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. This for pure re-readability. This is one of the funniest books I’ve read. I feel like I could go through it over and over and still laugh each time.

Second, Wilderness Survival for Dummies by John Haslett. This is because I would probably die from exposure otherwise.

Third, I’d bring The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson because it’s been on my to-be-read for ages and its huge. It should last me until I get rescued, right? RIGHT?!

Fourth, I would bring the Hunger Games Unofficial Cookbook by Emily Baines. This one I’d use to keep me from eating grass all of the time. This book would be perfect for recipes because they’re all ones from the books that the different districts made with ingredients they could find around them. Makes sense, right?

And finally, fifth I would bring Twilight, so I could burn it and stay warm. (No offense Stephenie Meyer, but I have no use for shiny vampires on my island)

That’s what I’d bring. Acey, I tag you deary.

 
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Posted by on 03/07/2015 in Book Tag, Books

 

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Top 5 Wednesday: Books you’d save in a fire!

It’s Wednesday again, and this week’s topic is one I can actually come up with five books for, yaay! On to it – the top five books I would save in a fire. This is going to be super hard. Because knowing me, I’d risk getting burnt a bit if it meant I could save more books. So narrowing it down to five is difficult. I think I’ve done a good job of it, though. Also, I’ve narrowed it down to the books I currently have with me, none of the ones in storage at my parents’ place will be considered in this.

5. The Future of the Mind by Michio Kaku
The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the MindAside from this book being about awesome things, this is the only book I own that is signed. Therefore, it gets a place on this list by default. Because if this was lost, it would be really hard to get another signed copy. I could get an unsigned one, but it just wouldn’t be the same.

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4. Volume 4 of Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki
Rurouni Kenshin, Vol. 4 (Rurouni Kenshin, #4)I’m choosing this volume specifically because this is my all time favorite manga, and this volume has the conclusion of my favorite story arc within that manga. It’s been read so many times that the binding doesn’t even offer any resistance when I open it anymore. It’s well loved. A new copy wouldn’t have the same effect to it.

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.3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
This one for the same reason as the previous – it’s my favorite in the series and this particular copy has a lot of sentimental value.

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2. Psychology and Psychic Culture
by Reuben Post Halleck
This one probably sounds weird to a lot of people. A random psychology book? Yes and no. Random yes, but at the same time, this book is the oldest book I own. It was published in 1895, back when psychology was in its birthing. I love this book. It has super dated pychological theory, which is fun to read. It has hand-written notes in the margins from past owners, dedications on the inner cover when it was given as a gift (repeatedly). This is just an awesome piece of history. I got it when my grandmother died – my father found it in a large box of old books that she had. He thought I’d like it. And I really, really do. The picture to the left is one I’ve taken myself of a page of the book, if you’re interested.

1. The Official Pokemon Handbook by Maria S Barbo
This is number one for a number of silly reasons. First, I got it when I was very young. It’s so The Official Pokémon Handbookbeat up that the cover is starting to fall off. Second, this is the original handbook, the first one released. Meaning, it has only the original 151 pokemon, back when Mew was rumored to be a fake made up by fans. When the first movie came out, man. The pokemon community exploded. I have this handbook, and the two following ones that came out when the second and third generations of pokemon were released respectively. But this is my favorite, makes me feel the most nostalgic, so this is the one I would save. And I feel like if anything ever happened to this book, I would probably really cry about it. I know I would.

And that’s all. Yay, post completed! Top5W was created by Lainey, and the group of other posters can be found here.

 
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Posted by on 03/04/2015 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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March TBR

I’ve decided I’m going to flip my TBR around a bit, because I noticed that basically every time I decide ‘I’m going to read a book this month’ I end up reading everything except that book. So my TBRs now I feel are going to include my TBR Jar Challenge for the month and basically anything I’m in the process of reading already. And at the end, I’m going to say what I feel in the mood for, if that makes sense. This way I’m not locked into reading any certain book and essentially read what I want while still making a post like this worth typing.

My TBR Jar pick for this month is “Read a Classic Novel”. This one is both exciting and daunting for me. I’ve been wanting to get more into classical literature, but honestly the field of it is so huge, I don’t know where I would begin. I own a few already, but none of them are sticking out to me too much at the moment. I feel the one that most catches my interesting is 47 Ronin, which is a collection of classic Japanese stories. I might end up saving this one for another challenge though, so don’t quote me. I know I can read a classic this month, but at the moment, I’m not settled on which.

Other than that, I plan to continue reading the books/series I’m currently reading:

Saiyuki – I borrowed the entire series from my sister so I should zoom through it.

Life, the Universe, and Everything – I’m very much enjoying this. I want to chase couches across prehistoric earth, it’s not fair.
Monsters of Men – the last book in the Chaos Walking series.

Game of Thrones – This one I’m listening to on audiobook. There are sooo many chapters, man. Really enjoying it, though 😀

And if I get to anything else this month, the more the better. I’m feeling epic fantasy.

What are you reading this month?

 
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Posted by on 03/02/2015 in Books, TBR

 

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February Wrap-Up

Welcome to my February Wrap-Up! This month, I read two novels and three manga. Not a wonderful reading month for me – my course work this semester is insane. You probably don’t care, but it seems like all my professors are in cahoots. They all make things due on the same day. It’s butts.

BUTT ANYWAYS, THE BOOKS. THE IMPORTANT BITS.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide, #2)The first thing I completed this month was The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams. This is the second book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, and man, I think I loved this one more than the first one, and I really really loved the first one. Douglas Adam’s humor just clicks with me. It’s just perfect. I have probably mentioned before, but this series for me is being read very sparingly because my SO and I are reading it out loud to each other. So, it only gets read a chapter or two at a time, and only when we’re both free to do so. I think it makes it all the more enjoyable, because his voice is just perfect for this book. But anyways, I love this series, partially because of the series itself, and partly because of the memories I’m making while reading it. I hope to get through the rest of them as well. 😀

The second book I read was The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness. This is the second book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy, and I actually wrote a full review on it, which can be found here. I really enjoyed this book, and am currently reading the third one. I know my TBR Jar Challenge for the month was to finish a series, and I had chosen this one to do that… well, I didn’t finish the third one. (I did complete a different series, but I’ll get to that in a moment). I highly recommend checking this series out if you haven’t already. The premise of it alone was enough to pull me in, and the writing after that kept me there.

The third and fourth things I read were volumes 1 and 2 of Rurouni Kenshin Restoration. This is the series that completes my ‘finish a series’ challenge. I also wrote a review on this series, if you’re interested. This series is a condensed retelling of the 28 volume series Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki. This series is fantastic, and the retelling was pretty damn decent as well. This is a historical action manga set in the Meiji Era of Japan. If you’re at all interested in this, read the original 28 volume one first, or you’ll be confused as hell.

Saiyuki, Vol. 1And the last thing I finished was volume 1 of Saiyuki by Kazuya Minekura. This, I borrowed from my sister, who is lovely. This is the first of a nine volume series that deals with demons and science and humor and action and feels. It follows four characters, a buddhist priest, two demons and a half demon as they travel across Asia to India to investigate a strange release of energy that has caused the continent’s demons to go crazy and bloodlusty. The characters are fantastically developed and very funny. This is as much of a comedy as it is an action manga. And technically, this is a reread for me – I read it when I was in high school. At that point though, I didn’t have a goodreads, so the website counts it as first time read for me, yay. And it kind of feels like it regardless, but I don’t remember what the hell is going on, it’s been so long. So needless to say, I’m really enjoying it. And I remember loving it when I was younger, so hopefully I’ll love it just as much this time around.

So that’s all that I read this month. My TBR for March will be up soon here. Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 03/01/2015 in Books, Wrap-up

 

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