Monthly Archives: August 2016
Guten tag! I’ve decided to participate in the bout of books readathon again. I’ve been doing so since BOB 14 I think? 13? Something like that. So not nearly as long as a lot of people, but long enough. For those unfamiliar, here is where you’d sign up to participate and here is the blurb from their site:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team
I originally wasn’t going to when I saw the dates – August 22nd through the 28th – it’s the last week before classes start, during which I’m working full time on top of 12 or so hours of commuting. But because of this work and commuting, I’ve fallen into a book slump. I’ve read a grand total of five or six books this whole summer and I miss reading more. So, I’m going to try this readathon to jump start me back into my normal pace of reading. Otherwise I’m afraid this slump might continue into the semester.
SO HERE GOES NOTHING, PEEPS.
– Read every day
– Finish at least three books
– Write a review for each book finished (can happen after readathon is over)
– Participate in at least half of the challenges
Bout of Books 17 TBR:
Ralph and the Pixie by G. S. Monks. I’m currently reading this and it will be on my TBR if I don’t finish it this weekend. I’m about 2/3rds through it and hope to finish it up before Sunday night, but if I don’t, it’s numero uno on the list.
Pokemon: Deluxe Essential Handbook by Scholastic. I’ve totally fallen into the Pokemon craze. I loved it growing up and lost touch until Pokemon Go came out. I realized there are 700-something of those little buggers now and I know the first three generations at most. So I’ve been studying. 😛 Yes, I’m actually reading this cover to cover. This is also a ‘will be on TBR if I don’t finish it this weekend’ book. Currently about 60% through it.
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. This will be an audiobook, because let’s face it, twelve hours a week in the car leaves a lot of time for listening to stuff. This will be my first Vonnegut book and it’s been recommended to me by so many people. So here we go.
The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells. Another audiobook, just in case.
Saga by Brian K Vaughan. Rereads for me. I purchased volume 6 last month and can’t remember what’s going on. So I’m just going to start at volume 1 and see how far I get.
I figure if I get through all the Sagas, I’ll pick up another physical book. Not sure what yet, but I’ll figure that out when and if I come to it.
And that’s it! Wish me luck and unslumpiness! Happy reading! :”D
Hola, a tag today! I was tagged by the Orang-utan Librarian, and it’s taken me nearly a month to post it because I’m excellent at procrastinating.
Here we go!
- Name: Emily
- Nicknames: Em, Embuhlee, Em-ry, Yondy, Emlee, Emwee, Emmy, Mimi, Meems.
- Star Sign: Leo
- Occupation: Student/QA Intern/Tech help/Litter box cleaner
- Hair color: Brown
- Hair length: Long
- Eye colour: Blue
- Best feature: My uh… MY VIVID PERSONALITY.
- Braces: Never, but probably need them.
- Piercings: Ears
- Tattoos: No. I haven’t found a picture I want to stare at every day for the rest of my life.
- Right or left handed: Left
- Best friend: Shannon, who is not a blogger. I’ve known her since I was 12. 😛 She’s weird.
- Award: Does a participation ribbon for my 1st grade track and field day count?
- Real holiday: Is this British-English for vacation? If so, New Jersey when I was seven. If you mean holiday holiday, then it was Labor Day 1990.
- Concert: Ke$ha. And considering she’s not my type of music, I rather enjoyed it.
- Film: Moulin Rouge
- TV Show: It’s a tie between Fringe, X-Files, Sherlock and Supernatural
- Color: Blue
- Song: One of about five or six favorites since I can’t choose one is Ever Dream by Nightwish
- Restaurant: A local chain called Rey Azteca. Best. Mexican. Ever.
- Shop: Borders. (RIP)
- Shoes: Flippies
- Feeling: Queasy. I stayed home from work today under a blankie.
- Single or Taken: Taken.
- Eating: Nothing. Tum isn’t diggin food at the mo’.
- Watching: Pokemon on netflix. Ten episodes in and still going. o:<
- Wearing: T-shirt, sweat pants
- Children: One day. They’re gonna be weeeeeiiirdd :”D
- Marriage: Yep. I’m currently plotting a proposal. o:< It’s gon’ be gud.
- Careers: Something in neuroscience preferably. But will be perfectly happy in a software development-type job.
- Where you want to live: Somewhere close to a big city but not in the big city.
- Miracles: Sure, why not
- God: Yes
- Love at first sight: No
- Ghosts: Sure, why not
- Aliens: I feel like it’s ridiculous not to be open to the possibility. I mean, there is scientific evidence suggesting the existence of a multiverse. The size of our universe alone, times however many universes in the multiverse… you can’t seriously think we’re the only planet that made a bleep on the radar.
- Soul mates: Sure
- Heaven/hell: I hope so. Otherwise, being dead will be boring.
- Kissing on the first date: Sure, smoochy smoochy
- Yourself: Most of the time.
Hello! An awardy today. :”D I was tagged by A Universe for Books, so thank you much! Sorry it took me so long to get to posting it!
- Thank the person who nominated you.
- Answer 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
- Nominate 11 bloggers to receive the award and write them 11 new questions to answer.
Questions for me:
Imagine that you are the protagonist and your life is a book. Which book that you’ve read would be written about you?
This is such a cool question. :”D Unfortunately though I can’t think of one. My life is pretty boring, haha. What I would like though would be something like Harry Potter, but who wouldn’t? 😛
Imagine your favourite book is being turned into a book to movie adaptation. See if you can create a soundtrack to this book. Which book would it be?
This is such a cool question too! :”D One of my favorite books currently is Uprooted by Naomi Novik. I just looked at my favorites list and it’s one of few that doesn’t actually already have a tv show or movie, so this is the one. 😛
Here is the synopsis from Amazon before I go into the setlist I’ve created:
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, ambitious wizard, known only as the Dragon, to keep the wood’s powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost to the wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows – everyone knows – that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia – all the things Agnieszka isn’t – and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. And when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him.
The setlist (alluding to events but not directly spoiling):
The opening scenes: In the Land of Twlight, Under the Moon by Yuki Kaijiura
After the choosing: Bittersweet by Apocalyptica
A new location: Symphony #7, 2nd movement by Beethoven
Adjusting: We Don’t Have to Dance by Andy Black
Discovery of a gift: Locked With the Crystal Ball by Blackmore’s Night
The forest’s theme: Nightfall by Blind Guardian
The Dragon’s theme: Own Little World by Celldweller
Agnieszka’s theme: Call Me, Call Me by The Seatbelts
Getting Kasia: Rising by the Yoshida Brothers
The final scenes: In the End by Black Veil Brides
I had way too much fun doing this.
Continuing from question 2, who would be your dream cast?
I looked around at fan casting since I didn’t have any planned myself, and I’ve settled on the following: I’d say Hailee Steinfeld for Agnieszka, Elle Fanning for Kasia and Aneurin Barnard for The Dragon
If you could travel in time, where would you want to travel and what would you do?
Probably into the future, assuming humanity doesn’t crash and burn by ignoring global warming or blowing each other up or pissing off an alien race or being smacked by a gamma ray from andromeda…. Actually, I’ll stay in right now, thanks.
If real life was a fantasy book, what kind of character would you be? (Rebel, assassin, warrior, adventurer etc…)
I’d be one of those people where the main characters show up at my house/inn/pub/whatever and I’d give them food and stuff. I’d totally be a side character.
What is your favourite beginning to a new book or book series?
Harry Potter, definitely. Last words of the first chapter in the first book? Chills, people.
If you were to write a book or book series, what would it be about?
I’ve had a plot bunny in my head for five years now – each year I attempt to write it out for Nanowrimo and it never ends up how I want it. So that idea. Not gonna mention it just in case it actually ends up on paper at some point.
Clay/ air gun shooting, running, climbing, horse riding, hiking. How would you order these from best to worst?
Hiking, Clay/air gun shooting, climbing, horse riding, running. I have no stamina. Running is definitely last for me.
Would you rather be a bookseller, but you are never able to read another book again or an author, but you can only read the stories you’ve written?
An author. At least this way I can still read.
Would you rather be: a demi-god, shadowhunter or peculiar? Why?
I’m assuming you mean peculiar from the peregrine books. Peculiar. Haven’t read enough of the others to know their advantages.
If you were a demi-god, who would your godly parent be and if you were peculiar, what would be your peculiarity?
I’ve always liked Artemis. And knowing me, I’d probably get stuck with something dumb like the ability to grow my hair really fast. :”D
And that’s it! Thank you for tagging me! As I’ve been on a bit of a tagging spree lately and I haven’t seen any of the posts show up yet I’m not going to tag anymore – I’d just be adding to the pile. xD
I’m going to create questions though, in case anyone would like to consider themselves tagged:
- What is your favorite time of day to read?
- Do you listen to music while reading? What kind?
- In a book-to-movie adaptation of a book you’ve read, who do you think they casted really well? Who do you think was way off the mark?
- Do you read different genres during different seasons?
- Do you like audiobooks?
- What series do you feel had a great beginning and end but awful middle?
- Do you watch tv in the morning when getting ready for work/school/house stuff? What do you watch?
- How do you have your books stored or arranged in your home? Can I see a picture?
- What’s your favorite weather for reading?
- What’s your favorite nonfiction book?
- If you could meet an author and convey your personal wishes for their next book or installment in a series they’re writing, who would be the author and what would you tell them about the book?
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
This review might mention events in passing, but nothing will directly be spoiled.
Listening to this book felt like sitting around a campfire, hearing stories from friends and family… friends and family who hate each other and are very explicit about their sex lives.
All the archetypes were even there. The father who kept telling everyone to hush because his baby was sleeping even though she shouldn’t have been out that late in the first place, the surly uncle who refuses to participate but is still a bit of a control freak, the cousin who always looks just a bit too pale, the ‘firecracker’ sister going through her ‘everything offends me’ phase, the grandpa who just nods and smiles but it still revered as the head of the family, the brother who’s been working out and keeps subtly flexing to show off his muscles, and the drunk neighbor who just showed up when he saw a party in the next yard.
Yet for some reason, I still enjoyed this book for the most part. It’s saving grace is its setting. The world of Hyperion is absolutely fascinating, and I would read one hundred books of goofy characterization of it meant I could read more about this world. I’m smitten.
Hyperion opens upon the beginning of a pilgrimage of these seven characters to the world of Hyperion. They’re to travel there to locate the Shrike, a being with unknown origins and unsettling power, to win its favor and ask it for assistance. Each one of these seven have different motivations and desires and these are revealed throughout the story. And that’s basically what this book is: these characters’ stories. Rarely does the narrative find itself upon the actual pilgrimage but more often it’s neck-deep in one of these characters’ tales. So if you’re going into this book expecting a lot of plot momentum and action, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
This book is a study of the planet Hyperion. Each one of the stories told within this book tie the character telling it to the planet in some way even though it may not be fully evident at first. None of the stories seem outwardly related to each other and it honestly felt like I was reading a bunch of short stories set in the same universe instead of a novel. Sure there were small ties, but no story built upon the previous one. And this world, man. This world is bizarre. It’s fascinating. The Shrike creature that dwells there is foreboding and unsettling and intoxicating. I couldn’t get enough.
Each story increased my love for the planet, even if the individual story didn’t happen to tickle my fancy. Because there were definitely a few that I found ridiculous. Tedious, even. This book was an interesting experience for me – in it, I found some of the best writing I’ve ever read, and some of the worst. Oh my gosh, some of this writing was awful. More than a couple times, I’d finish listening to a scene or even just a line and I’d have some kind of outburst – I’ve laughed hysterically at the absurdity, I’ve yelled at the stupidity. It was a roller coaster. And still, I was fascinated and I couldn’t stop. I read through scenes of these characters telling each other very explicitly what they were doing with another person in their story – details that one normally wouldn’t tell to the closest of friends, let alone a group of people you’d just met. It’s like they had no filter.
Hi, nice to meet you. I don’t like you – you could steal my chance at seeing the Shrike. Here, listen to me tell you how my penis felt when I boned this one chick. Also here’s some intimate details about her body that she probably would be mortified if she knew I told you.
It was so weird. And it wasn’t limited to just one gender – both were guilty. I mean, I suppose it wouldn’t have been so bad if there had been a good romantic element to the story, but there wasn’t. There was sex, and there was romance alluded, but not really any actual… romance. It made the ‘mood’ or whatever the hell it was feel very forced and awkward. So yeah, I’m going to try to block some of the more graphic scenes from my memory, thanks.
Obviously because of the above, I definitely developed favorite and least favorite stories while listening. Some characters were definitely more interesting and less infuriating than others, but I see why all of them were included. Except one. I’m still questioning that one. Stupidest story I’ve ever read. Not going to say who though, but bet you could guess after reading this. But the good stories were awesome and more than made up for the short-comings of the other ones. You’ll know the good ones when you read them. You’ll know them very quickly.
Anyways – overall Hyperion, the world not the book, has me head over heels. I’m going to read the second book just so I can experience the world more. Characters can come and go, but the planet, I love it.
Rating: 4/5 stars
You know, they say time seems to go faster as you get older because fewer and fewer of your experiences are novel to you anymore. When you were little, everything was new – summer lasted years, the wait for Christmas lasted eons. Now summer flies by, Christmas is over before you realized it was coming… all of it because you do the same damn thing day in and day out and all your days blur together.
I need a vacation.
Also, it’s the end of July now. 2016 is zoomin’.
But I did read a couple books this month, so that’s nice.
Overview of Blog Activity for the Month:
- Two wrap-ups posted
- Two book hauls posted
- Two reviews posted
- One Top 5 Wednesday posted
- One Blog Award posted
Total posts for July: 8
Reading Overview for the Month:
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. This is a classic sci-fi book written in the 70s. I went into this one only knowing the basic premise: The main character is in a war that requires interstellar travel. That travel causes time dilation, so while he’s fighting a two year tour, dozens, hundreds of years pass on Earth. This book was as much a war novel as it was a culture study. The book starts in the last 90s and ends hundreds of years later. The main character, every time he pops out time from a travel, he has to readjust to what waits for him there – updates to the war, updates to humanity. It takes a look at human fallacy, too. The whole ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ human fault is examined pretty well.
One thing that was handled in an interesting fashion was homosexuality. Keep in mind this book was written in the 70s. The main character is definitely a bit biased towards homosexual people in this book, but it’s addressed and the main character adjusts his views as time moves along. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like that before, especially one written so long ago. The character is biased, not the author. I didn’t feel like I was reading hate-fiction from the author. I didn’t feel like the author felt how his character did. It was really refreshing. A similar view is taken with women’s sexuality in this book. It’s mentioned, mentioned a lot. But the author doesn’t try to shame or write the women badly because of their choices. It was just… reading about people, and it was nice. I mean – the women’s characterization in this book was definitely lacking. The few that exist are partially developed at best, but none of them were seen as ‘bad’ or ‘unworthy’ characters for having sex lives. It was refreshing.
So I gave this book a four stars. Would have easily been five if the women (and honestly all the characters) were characterized a bit better. Multi-faceted personalities, I crave them! – 4 stars
Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb. This is the second book in The Farseer Trilogy, a series I’m quickly falling in love with. Well, that’s a lie. I’m already in love with it. But if the third book goes as well as the first two did, this series is definitely making me ‘Favorite books’ list. My gosh, I love these. I haven’t started the third one yet, but hope to do so soon-ish. (Zezee if you still wanna do a buddy read, gimme a time-frame. :”D)
This book followed Fitz after the events of the first book. So I’m not going to go into plot to save you from spoilers. What I did like about this book though was the character development. So many different characters are written so fully and well. There are only a couple that stick out in my mind as needing some work – and they’re not exactly major ones so I’m not too worried about it. But men and women in this book both have goals and desires and feelings and dimensions to them. I loved it! Since finishing this book, I think about these characters all the time. I want to be friends with Kettricken, I want to hang out with Burrich. I feel like these characters could be real people. So I very, very much enjoyed this book. – 5 stars
Just one this month: Turkey’s coup, explained in under 500 words
Progress on 2016 Reading Goals:
- Read 28/50 books
- Picked up books out of interest instead of hype: 2/2
- Books unhauled from disinterest or dislike: 0
- 2/16 16 in 2016 books completed
Progress on Book Riot Read Harder/TBR Jar Challenge:
August Currently Reading:
Currently I’m at three, though I’ll likely pick up a new audiobook here pretty quickly.