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Monthly Archives: February 2016

February Book Haul #6

FebBookHaul

Welcome to my sixth book haul! This month, aside from normal books, I also purchased textbooks for my classes. And since I paid out the butt for them, they get a spot in the haul, dammit.

And here they are!!

Non-textbooks:

Great ExpectationsGreat Expectations by Charles Dickens
I would like to read more classics. My reading window is rather narrow at the moment, I think. Horizons, man. Gotta expand them.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth DickinsonThe Traitor Baru Cormorant
I’m particularly excited for this one. Before actually buying it, I had gone through the cycle of picking it up/putting it down in the store for probably two or three visits prior. I’m glad I finally brought it home with me.

The BeesThe Bees by Laline Paull
This one looks really good too. It’s about a worker bee that becomes sentient enough to realize that it’s a worker bee. It goes through a whole bunch of bee conspiracy and is very dystopian, form what I’ve heard. Sounds really good. 😀

Queen of the Tearling by Erika JohansenThe Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)
I don’t remember if I was reading this or not during my February currently reading post, but if I was, it was a library book. Since then, I’ve purchased my own copy. I’m really digging it so far.

Textbooks:

Introducing the Theory of Computation by Wayne Goddard for my Theory of Computation Class

Computer Systems: A Programmer’s Perspective by Bryant O’Hallaron for my Computer Organization and Architecture class

Data Structures & Algorithms in Java by Robert Lafore for my Data Structures and Algorithms class

Molecular Biology of the Cell by Bruce Alberts for my Cell Biology class.


And that’s it! This one is short and sweet. So, what books did you get? Anyone else including textbooks in this month’s haul post? Happy reading!!

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Posted by on 02/28/2016 in Book Haul, Books

 

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The Playlist Shuffle Tag

playlistshufflebanner

A tag day! I was tagged by Orang-utan Librarian, and though this isn’t book related, it looked super fun. :”D So I’m going to do it!

The Rules are to put your music on shuffle and link the first 15 songs that get spit out. This will either be a really good representation of what I listen to or a really bad one. I have a lot of music, though it’s music I’ve collected for over fifteen years. I am going to add one caveat to these rules: I’m going to skip the song if I’ve never actually listened to it before. This way, I can at least talk a little bit about the thing whether it currently suits my tastes or not. So here we go!

Song: Funny Bunny
Artist: The Pillows (from the anime FLCL)
Genre: Alt Rock
If you’ve never seen FLCL, this music video I feel sums it up really well. It’s super weird but super great.

Song: American Idiot
Artist: Green Day
Genre: Punk rock
I used to listen to this a lot when I was 15, and then Green Day became ‘weird’… and now I totally listen to it a lot again. :”D GREEN DAY FOREVER, MAN.

Song: Don’t Stop Believing
Artist: Northern Kings (cover)
Genre: Symphonic metal
This is a cover of Boston’s song. The Northern Kings are a group of singers made up of the main vocalists from four different big Scandinavian metal bands. They go around doing metal covers of popular songs. Some are awesome, some are not. This one is.

Song: Florence Tarantella
Artist: Jesper Kyd (from the game Assassin’s Creed)
Genre: Orchestral
Haven’t play (all of) the games yet, but its music.

Song: Away
Artist: Nightwish
Genre: Symphonic metal
This song is a nice, slower song from the band, featuring their original singer. It’s lovely.

Song:  Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide
Artist: Shinedown
Genre: Hard rock
Whenever I listen to this one, I think of driving to work over and over again. Association, dammit.

Song: Drunken Lullabies
Artist: Flogging Molly
Genre: Irish Rock
I’ve seen this band live twice now. They’re a bunch of fun. 😀

Song: Rider of the Last Day
Artist: Tarot
Genre: Power metal
If you know Nightwish at all, this is the band that Marco’s been in even longer. I dig it.

Song: Active Imagination
Artist: Molice
Genre: New Wave Alternative
This is a band my SO got me into. He’s really into Japanese music since he speaks it (intermediate level) and this is one of the bands that really stuck with me.

Song: Robbery, Assault and Battery
Artist: Genesis
Genre: Progressive Rock
This is one of my childhood songs. My mom’s a big fan and because of her I’ll forever have a crush on Phil Collins

Song: Battle of One
Artist: 30 Seconds to Mars
Genre: Alternative Rock
I didn’t care for this band much until the last couple years or so. I know, I know, I missed out on prime teenage-angst music as a teenager. But whatever. I’ll angst now. Quarter-life crises are real things.

Song: Smoke and Mirrors
Artist: Bee Gees
Genre: Pop Disco
Everyone loves the Bee Gees, don’t lie to yourself.

Song: The Islander
Artist: Nightwish
Genre: Symphonic metalI saw these guys live last year and Marco played this song as a solo acoustic. The audience died. And I’m seeing them again TONIGGHTTTTT!!!!!!

Song: Best of You
Artist: Foo Fighters
Genre: Rock
I LOVE this band. It’s one of my favorites. Dave Grohl Dave Grooooohlll. ❤

Song: Hand of Sorrow
Artist: Within Temptation
Genre: Symphonic Metal
This is the one band I haven’t seen come near me in tours yet. Hopefully they’ll get here. Or I’ll get there. Wherever.


And that’s it! 15 songs. They mostly represent my music tastes. There are a couple odd balls, but that’s okay.

 

I tage Ace. Do it.

 
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Posted by on 02/24/2016 in Music

 

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Top 5 Wednesday: Recommended Reads

Top 5 Wednesday

Happy Hump Day. This week’s topic is top books that were recommended to you. Since a lot of the books I read are recommended to me through the internet, I’m going to to with books that were recommended to me by people physically around me. Also, I’m going to leave out my two all-time favorites series (The Deepgate Codex and The Temeraire series) because I just gooed about them in my last post. But they were both recommendations to me as well. So anyways, here we go~

5. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Snow Crash

Recommended to me by: The SO

I recommend this to you if: You liked ‘Ready Player One’ or are looking for some nice, dense sci-fi.

Goodreads synopsis:

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately.

4. The Diary of Ma Yan

Recommended to me by: The SOThe Diary of Ma Yan: The Struggles and Hopes of a Chinese Schoolgirl

I recommend this to you if: You like memoir, Asian culture and are looking for something a bit sad.

Goodreads synopsis:

Wednesday, November 7

My father gave me and my brother a little money. My stomach is all twisted up with hunger, but I don’t want to spend the money on anything as frivolous as food. Because it’s money my parents earn with their sweat and blood.

I have to study well so that I won’t ever again be tortured by hunger. . . .

In a drought-stricken corner of rural China, an education can be the difference between a life of crushing poverty and the chance for a better future. But money is scarce, and the low wages paid for backbreaking work aren’t always enough to pay school fees.

Ma Yan’s heart-wrenching, honest diary chronicles her struggle to escape hardship and bring prosperity to her family through her persistent, sometimes desperate, attempts to continue her schooling.

First published in France in 2002, the diary of ma yan created an outpouring of support for this courageous teenager and others like her — support that led to the creation of an international organization dedicated to helping these children . . . all because of one ordinary girl’s extraordinary diary.

3. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Recommended to me by: The SO (are you noticing a pattern here)Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)

I recommend this to you if: You enjoy religious and conspiratorial themes, you enjoy thrillers, you like Peter Clines’ writing or if you don’t mind short shorts being mentioned every other page.

Goodreads synopsis:

World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization— the Illuminati. Desperate to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra. Together they embark on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and the most secretive vault on the earth… the long-forgotten Illuminati lair.

2. The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Recommended to me by: A very good friendThe Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)

I recommend this to you if: You want to read horror but aren’t sure where to start, you disliked The 5th Wave but want to give Rick Yancey another chance (this is waaaay better, trust me) or you enjoy reading about really cool looking creatures

Goodreads synopsis:

‘These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real. But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.

A gothic tour de force that explores the darkest heart of man and monster and asks the question: When does man become the very thing he hunts?

1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Recommend to my by: My cousinThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)

I recommend this to you if: You like humor, sci-fi, classics or just general goofiness.

Goodreads synopsis:

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.


This week’s topic was pretty fun! I figured posting the synopses of the books would be better than my butchered version of a summary.

As always, T5W was created by Lainey, and here is where you can find the full list of posters if you’d like to join as well. Happy reading!

 

 
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Posted by on 02/17/2016 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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Soundtrack to My Life Book Tag

STML Book Tag Banner

Here I am, after about a fortnight. I’ve been tagged by Orang-utan Librarian to do this lovely thing, so thank you. 😀

OPENING CREDITS: Favorite childhood book

Tawny Scrawny Lion

The Tawny Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson. Originally published in 1952, I think this book is one that my mother grew up with, which is likely why she read it to me over and over again when I was little. I think she still has my copy tucked away in a box somewhere. I think. I hope. I’ll need to go look.

 

WAKING UP: A book that got you out of a reading slump

The Dark City (Relic Master, #1)The Dark City by Catherine Fisher. This is the first book of the Relic Master series, which I can’t recommend enough. I started this book shortly before coming across book blogs or booktube, so it’s the one that got me actually looking for communities to talk about books with, which got me reading books at a pace I never had before. And aside from that, this is a fantastic series. I love it. I read it almost two years ago now and I still think about it.

 

SCHOOL: A book you had to read for school that you ended up loving

There are a couple, actually. The ones that stick out the most are The Giver by Lois Lowry, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. We’ll just ignore the stack of books that I ended up not liking, because those are the ones that a lot of people tend to like.

The Book ThiefThe Giver (The Giver, #1)Frankenstein

FALLING IN LOVE: An author you love so much you want to read all of their books

Again, Catherine Fisher. I’ve buzzed through her Relic Master series and her Incarceron duology. She also a couple other series that I have yet to get to. BUT I’LL GET THERE EVENTUALLY.

FIGHT: Book with the best action sequences

Rurouni Kenshin, Vol. 1 (Rurouni Kenshin, #1)Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki. It’s a manga, I know, kind of cheating when it comes to action sequences. But still, there are some really intense showdowns in this series and the way the art flows, I’m never confused as to what’s happening or who’s winning or where the different characters are. It’s all so clear and so fast-paced. I love it.

 

BREAK UP: A book or series you didn’t finish and do not intend to finish

There are a good few. I’m just going to link my ‘did not finish‘ shelf from goodreads here and be done with it.

HANGING WITH FRIENDS: Book you think everyone else should read

Scar Night (Deepgate Codex, #1)Scar Night by Alan Campbell. Because really, how is a book about renegade angels in a city dangling by an endless abyss by chains not something that you want to read?! DO IT. I love it. The characters are all so awesome, the writing is encompassing, it’s wonderful. And because I’m pushing this book so hard, here’s the goodreads synopsis:

Suspended by chains over a seemingly bottomless abyss, the ancient city of Deepgate is home to a young angel, an assassin, and a psychotic murderer hungry for revenge or redemption. But soon a shocking betrayal will unite all three in a desperate quest…. The last of his line, Dill is descended from legendary Battle-archons who once defended the city. Forbidden to fly and untrained even to wield the great sword inherited from his forebears, he has become a figurehead for a dying tradition. Now he lives a sheltered existence in one of Deepgate’s crumbling temple spires under the watchful eye of the Presbyter who rules the city. Spine assassin Rachel Hael has better things to do than oversee the Presbyter’s angel. Each dark moon she must fight for her life among the city chains, hunting an immortal predator with a taste for blood. But when a traitor brings enemies to Deepgate’s doorstep, Dill and Rachel are forced into an uneasy alliance with the city’s oldest and most dangerous foe. They must journey down into the uncharted chasm to save their sprawling metropolis and themselves from annihilation. Once they descend however, they learn that what lies below is far more sinister than what they’ve been taught to expect

DO IT.

BREAKDOWN:Book that seriously affected you/had you crying your eyes out

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3)I mention this one a lot, but Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness. I didn’t cry during this book. It wasn’t really a sad book persay. I mean, it had its moments. but otherwise. This book though. I finished it, closed the cover, set it down, and then I bawled. This book had pent up so much emotion in me that when I reached the end, it all came out at once. Wahh, I still think about it.

 

ROADTRIP: You favourite series (more than 3 books)

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)Aside from the catch-all Harry Potter and aside from any series I’ve already mentioned above, it has to Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series. It’s about aerial tactical combat on the backs of dragons during the Napoleonic Wars. It. Is. Awesome. I feel like this should have been my ‘best fight scenes’ choice, but I wanted to use it here instead. Seriously, go read. There are eight books in the series with a ninth being published this coming summer. I’ve read… four of them. xD So I still have a ways to go myself. But the four that I did read were AWESOME. Writing about them now makes me want to go reread the ones I already have and then buzz through the rest. This series is so well-written, so well-researched and so well-executed. It’s so, so, so good.

Again, the goodread synopsis, because I always need more people to talk about my absolute favorites with:

Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors ride mighty fighting dragons, bred for size or speed. When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes the precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Captain Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future – and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.

FLASHBACK: Your favorite book from 5 years ago

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Oh boy, need to check my goodreads for this one. In 2011, I read 13 books (see, I told you I read more now that I have this blog) and my favorite from that year was definitely Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. I remember actually reading this during a road trip I took to visit a friend. My other friend and I rented a car and drove down, and the friend we were visiting had this on her shelf. I had just finished the first one, so I dove at it. We were there for three days, I spent two of them reading this. And I wasn’t even being rude – the other two were reading the whole time, too. :”D

GETTING BACK TOGETHER: What book can you not stop rereading

For this one, I have to say Harry Potter. When I was younger, we weren’t exactly wealthy, so I didn’t have my own set of these things. I would rent them from the library over and over again – I probably read the first five books a good twenty times each. The sixth and seventh I’ve only read two or three times since I had my own by then, but the first five man, it was like clockwork. I’d rent two out, read them, return them, get the next two, and when I reached the fifth one, I’d rerent the first one again. Over and over. For years. I haven’t read them in a while though – the first three I read back in 2014 to a client I was working with when I still worked with autistic children, but other than that, nada.

WEDDING: A book that is really special to you

Ella EnchantedElla Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. This is another book I would rent and rerent from the library. It was the first book I remember reading that wasn’t Harry Potter than I became obsessed with. It had a positive role model for young girls and I just love that. I own my own copy that I found battered and bruised at a second hand store, and I loves it.

 

MOMENT OF TRIUMPH: Longest book you’ve ever read

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)That would be A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin. It’s over 1000 pages. Woof.

 

 

 

DEATH SCENE: Book or series you wish had ended differently

God of Clocks (Deepgate Codex, #3)The Deepgate Codex by Alan Campbell. That is the series to which Scar Night that I mentioned above belongs. I didn’t dislike the ending by any means, I just wish there was more. A whole fourth book could have been written with the loose ends that were still there at the end of God of Clocks (the third book). GIMME ANOTHER.

FUNERAL: Book with the best or worst epilogue

Come to think of it, not a lot of the books I read actually have epilogues. Honestly the only one I can think of is the one in Harry Potter, which I kind of feel indifferent about. Who let Harry pick the name of his kid. He’s awful at it. Ginny, what were you doing when this was happening?!


And that’s it! This was fun to do after not posting for a while. :”D My apologies about that, by the way. Classes this semester are a bit rough. But lucky me, today is a snow day. An inch of ice, three inches of snow, and then another inch of ice will do that.

 

Happy reading!

 

 
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Posted by on 02/16/2016 in Book Tag, Books

 

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Top 5 Wednesday: Badasses

Top 5 Wednesday

You know, I was going to start this post by listing the definition of ‘badass’ from urban dictionary, but all the definitions I found there excluded women. They specifically said only men could fit the criteria. Well, I have this to say to them: you’re not around women much, are you.

As always, TFW was created by Lainey and here is the list of full posters, should you like to join. Onto my badasses for the week, a nice mix of both genders.

5. Mark Watney from The Martian by Andy Weir

The MartianMark Watney is stranded on Mars with nothing but a few weeks of supplies and air and manages to survive for months, figuring out how to make more air and even grow his own food in the barren Mars soil. If that’s not a badass, I don’t know what is. He even maintains a good attitude about the whole situation, even when he’s certain he’s going to die. I don’t think I’d have the courage to do everything that he did in this book. Seriously love this character, he’s great. :”D

4. Jane Roland from His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)Jane Roland is the captain of the dragon Excidium in this book. She’s classy, professional, strong-willed and still is able to let her hair down. I really, really like Jane’s character. She reminds me of Captain Amelia from Treasure Planet, if you’ve ever seen that. She’s awesome. And a dragon rider! For the military! Doing aerial tactics and warfare! How cool is that?!

 

3. Saito Hajime from Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki

https://i0.wp.com/stream1.gifsoup.com/view2/3185479/kenshin-vs-saito2-o.gif

Saito is the former Captain of the Shinsengumi during the Bakumatsu revolution. His character is based off a real military general in Japan’s history. Saito is such a cool character. He’s one of the few that can hold his own against Kenshin in a fight and he’s calm, cool and collected. One of my favorites! In the gif, he’s the one with the black hair.

2. Carnival from Scar Night by Alan Campbell

Scar Night (Deepgate Codex, #1)Carnival is a renegade Angel that looms in Deepgate, a city suspended over an abyss by ancient chains. She rules Scar Night, claiming a victim as her own each time it arrives. Carnival is a really awesome character and I feel like she’d kick my ass as soon as look at me. She’s one of the main characters in the book, which is one of my favorite series ever. Go read it purely for her.

 

1. Riza Hawkeye from Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa

Riza. Is. Awesome. Riza Hawkeye is a Lieutenant in the Amestris State Army, serving with Roy Mustang (also a badass but slightly less badassy). She is always dependable, cool-headed and kind. She’s a skilled fighter and can hold her own far better than a lot of the other characters can. Riza is seriously amazing and the whole series (which is AWESOME, by the way) is made that much better by her character. Go read. Go. Go go go.

https://49.media.tumblr.com/6b32ef8fdd18b4e6d5acbc1b07e36468/tumblr_nbi4ba42yI1rmnt80o1_500.gif


And that’s it! Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 02/03/2016 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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