Thursday, March 31, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Cereal

First of all, I want to apologize for their not being a post for almost a week now.  I've been in Georgia for spring break, and my access to the Internet was very limited.  I hoped to get up a blog post or two somehow, but it didn't happen.  Anyway, on with Booking Through Thursday...

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme that asks a question about books.
If you’re like me, you grew up reading everything under the sun, like the cereal boxes while you ate your breakfast, the newspapers held by strangers on the subway, the tabloid headlines at the grocery store.

What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever read? (You know, something NOT a book, magazine, short story, poem or article.)
I did (and still do) read all of those things.  I actually attempted to read a dictionary once, but by the time I got to the B's, I gave up.  There were other, much more interesting, things I could spend my time reading.  I've tried reading some instruction manuals and things, and I'm always the one actually reading the instructions to board games while everyone else just tries to figure it out on their own.  I can't really think of anything else strange that I've read before, but if I saw something with words on it, chances are I read at least some of it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Serial

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme. This week's question is:
Series? Or Stand-alone books?
While I love stand-alone books as well, there's something special about series to me. I love that you have multiple books to get to know the characters, and the storyline is usually more intricate in a series because the author has to spread it out during multiple books.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - Nerve by Taylor Clark

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.  Here's what you do:
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I'm still reading Nerve (so little free time), so here's another teaser from it:

"In the numbers and logic round, though, Ogas was in rare form. When the announcer asked 'What does x equal in this equation: 3x + 10 = 2x + 50,' Ogas shot out the correct answer (forty) almost instantly, while Rutter, a self-admitted math weakling, struggled horribly." - page 161 of Nerve by Taylor Clark

Monday, March 21, 2011

Musing Mondays - March 21st, 2011

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.  This week's question is:

What is the last book you bought? Was it for you? for someone else? Have you read it, yet?

It's been a while since I actually bought a book.  My dad bought some books for me a few weeks ago, but I don't know it that counts since I didn't get them myself (and I wasn't sure what books he would get).  I think the last book I bought was City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.  I bought it for myself, but I haven't read it yet.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In My Mailbox - March 20th, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren to show what books you got over the past week.  This post will include the past two weeks.

The Shape of Mercy: A NovelThe Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner
ISBN:  1400074568 (ISBN13: 9781400074563)
Release date:  September 16th, 2008
Publisher:  Waterbrook Press
Synopsis from Goodreads:
I recieved this book from the publisher for review.

“We understand what we want to understand.”

Leaving a life of privilege to strike out on her own, Lauren Durough breaks with convention and her family’s expectations by choosing a state college over Stanford and earning her own income over accepting her ample monthly allowance. She takes a part-time job from 83-year-old librarian Abigail Boyles, who asks Lauren to transcribe the journal entries of her ancestor Mercy Hayworth, a victim of the Salem witch trials.

Almost immediately, Lauren finds herself drawn to this girl who lived and died four centuries ago. As the fervor around the witch accusations increases, Mercy becomes trapped in the worldview of the day, unable to fight the overwhelming influence of snap judgments and superstition, and Lauren realizes that the secrets of Mercy’s story extend beyond the pages of her diary, living on in the mysterious, embittered Abigail.

The strength of her affinity with Mercy forces Lauren to take a startling new look at her own life, including her relationships with Abigail, her college roommate, and a young man named Raul. But on the way to the truth, will Lauren find herself playing the helpless defendant or the misguided judge? Can she break free from her own perceptions and see who she really is?

Lights! Camera! Fiction!Lights! Camera! Fiction!: The Movie Lover's Guide to Writing a Novel by Alfie Thompson
ISBN:  076242401X (ISBN13: 9780762424016)
Release date:  June 12th, 2006
Publisher:  Running Press Book Publishers
Synopsis from Goodreads:
How many times have you watched a popular movie and thought, "I'd like to write something like that," or "Even I can write better dialogue!" Here's your chance to learn how to write a watching movies like "Speed," "The Sixth Sense," "Clueless," "Die Hard," "While You Were Sleeping," and more! For the first time, a professional writing instructor and movie buff will take you through the steps necessary to craft your own commercial novel using techniques found in your favorite films. What can Hollywood's biggest features teach you about writing? How to watch movies with a writer's eye. Infusing character traits into scenes and plots. Using material goals to show internal motivation. Techniques for making scenes do double duty, including foreshadowing and flashback. What is a credibility gap, and how you should bridge it.

Plus: Three 'tricks' for fixing holes in your plot, characters or anything else in your story. Thompson guides you frame by frame through the ins and outs of writing a hit, in a text that is packed with "Quick Tips" and "Quick Fixes." This is an indispensable reference work that will have you polishing your prose—and preparing it for publication—in no time!
I won this book in a giveaway over on Wordplay.  I also won a CD about inspiration while writing and a couple of bookmarks.  I may even write a review for the CD.  It's a great CD to listen to if you're a writer.

Hunger Games and Phantom of the Opera Talk

In the Youtube video I posted yesterday, I started a new Hunger Games-themed 30 day challenge.  Today's thing asks who your least favorite character is.  My least favorite Hunger Games character is Coin.  I hate her even more than Snow.  While Snow is horrible, everyone knows he is (except the Capitol).  Snow even agrees not to lie to Katniss in Catching Fire.  For some reason, that makes me like him (very, very slightly) more than Coin who tries to hurt or kill Katniss multiple times but still pretends to be on her side.  Maybe I'm the only person who feels this way, but that just makes her even more despicable of a person to me.

If you watch my Youtube videos, I mentioned Jennifer Lawrence being cast as Katniss a few days ago.  I said I was going to say more about it after I saw an interview with her or something.  I still haven't seen any video of her, but I've read a few more things about her.  I have to say, she's really starting to grow on me.  As I said before, I'm trying not to judge until we see her as Katniss, but I wasn't incredibly thrilled about her being cast.  Suzanne Collins and the director (I can never remember his name) seem to think she's perfect for the part though, and that's giving me hope that she'll be good.  If the person who created Katniss thinks Jennifer Lawrence is a great Katniss than Jennifer Lawrence is probably a great Katniss (I hope).

I also want to say how incredibly awesome my school's drama department did tonight.  Today was their second preformance of Phantom of the Opera.  (My sister was in the chorus.)  We're the third school to perform Phantom which is really cool to me since I love Phantom so much.  They did an amazing job!  I'll admit I didn't have that high of expectations, but they were fantastic.  I was very impressed.  Although I probably would have enjoyed it more if: 1. I hadn't been sitting right behind a little girl who was constantly moving around, blocking my view, and whispering to her mom and 2. We hadn't been sitting right under the air conditioning vent.  I was shaking the whole time.  That being said, the actual play was actually wonderful.  If any of you lived around here, I'd probably make you go see it.

Days Until:
Deathly Hallows Part 1 DVD: 23
The Twilight Saga: The Complete Illustrated Guide released: 24
LeakyCon 2011: 116
Deathly Hallows Part 2 Movie: 118
My 18th Birthday: 138
Breaking Dawn Part 1 Movie: 244
Breaking Dawn Part 2 Movie: 608

Books Read in 2011: 7
Harry Potter Reread: GoF 29


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Book Review: Bogus to Bubbly by Scott Westerfeld

Bogus to Bubbly: An Insider's Guide to the World of UgliesISBN:  1416974369 (ISBN13: 9781416974369)
Release date:  October 21st, 2008
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Read from February 21st to March 6th, 2011
Synopsis from Goodreads:
THE WORLD OF UGLIES, SET IN OUR NOT-SO-DISTANT FUTURE, is a complex place filled with bubbly technology and lingo, yet bogus rules about status and appearance. That's why a guide to the world of uglies has been requisitioned from the hole in the wall. Inside you'll find:

A rundown on all the cliques, from Crims and Cutters to tech-heads and surge-monkeys

The complete history, starting with the destruction of the oil bug to the launch of Extras in space

How all those awesome gadgets came to be: hoverboards, eyescreens, skintennas, sneak suits...

PLUS an exclusive look at Scott Westerfeld's first draft of Extras -- starring Hiro, not Aya.

And so much more, it's mind-wrecking.
My review:

This is a great book for fans of the Uglies series.  It gives a lot of information about Tally and Aya's world, and I learned some cool things that aren't in the books.  If you enjoyed the Uglies series, I definitely recommend checking this book out.  There's even a chapter from the first draft of Extras that's in Hiro's point of view instead of Aya's that's really interesting to read.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Headlines

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme that asks book related questions.  This week's question is:

The news has been horrifying and addictive this week, with catastrophe piled on catastrophe, to a degree that–if I had read this in a book or seen it in a movie–I’d be protesting that it was just too unlikely, too farfetched.

But, topics for novels get ripped from the headlines all the time. Or real-life events remind you of fiction (whether “believable” or not) that you’ve read but never expected to see. Or real life comes up with an event so unbelievable that it stretches you sense of reality.

Hmm … I can’t quite come up with an outright question to ask, but thinking about the theory of fiction and how it can affect and be affected by real world events can act as a buffer between the horrific events on the news and having to actually face that horror. So … what happens when the line between fiction and reality becomes all-too slim? Discuss!

I'm not really sure what to say to this.  I'm not even sure if I completely understand what we're supposed to discuss.

First of all, I haven't mentioned anything about Japan anywhere online except Twitter.  I never brought it up here or on my Youtube channel.  There's one main reason for this.  I have some family members in Japan, and I was terrified that something had happened or was going to happen to them that day.  Even once I knew they were safe, the whole thing had shaken me up so badly that I just didn't want to discuss it online.

As for the actual question, I'm not sure what to say.  I think there are some fictional books that can be frightening if they remind us too closely of some tragedy that really happened.  I also think these can be some of the most amazing books.  Fictional books that are based on a real tragedy that happened in the past are very emotional to read (especially if you lived through the tragedy) because you know that there may have been people out there who suffered through things just like what happened in the book.

I don't really know what else to say, and I'm not sure if that even answers the question at all.  I'm just going to leave it at that.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - March 15th, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.  This is what you have to do:

•Grab your current read

•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser is:

"The military calls it a resistance-training laboratory, which is essentially a euphemism for 'torture center.'  For those three long weeks, trainees endure the psychological and physical abuse they might recieve as prisoners of war, complete with interrogations, forced isolation, malicious guards, even 'advanced techniques' like waterboarding." - Nerve:  Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool by Taylor Clark

Monday, March 14, 2011

Musing Mondays - March 14th, 2011

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.  This week's asks:

Do you have a favorite children’s book? Either one that you loved as a child, or one that you discovered later, and still enjoy? Tell us about it!
I had many different books that I loved to read when I was little, but I can't think of one that was my absolute favorite.  I know I had a book that played music that I loved to sing along with.  I ended up wearing the batteries out from listening to it too much.  I also read a lot of Dr. Seuss and Disney books.  I can't think of any specific favorite though.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Quelf: The Most Amazing Board Game Ever Invented

Today's challenge is:  a problem you have had.  I've had a lot of problems.  (Who hasn't?)  One I currently have is finding time to write.  With school, work, homework, and everything else, it's really hard to have time to write.  (The same thing goes for reading.)  I wanted to have A:TNG written by 2011, but it's March, and it's still not done.  That's what I plan to work on over spring break.  We're driving down to Georgia, and most of my time in the car will be spend writing (and reading).

Imagination Quelf Board GameI wanted to mention how incredibly awesome the board game Quelf is.  I first heard about it in this video.  It looked like the funnest board game ever, so I put it on my "want list."  A few weeks ago, I was at Target with my mom and brother and happened to find the game.  I wasn't really even searching for it (techincally).  My mom asked me to watch my brother while he was looking at toys, so I wandered over to the board games to see if it was there.  My mom agreed to buy it, but I didn't really have anyone to play it with.  Then, my grandma announced that she wanted to have a family game night.  I knew immediately that I was bringing Quelf.

A bunch of my family was over at my grandma's tonight, and we had fun playing Quelf for what was probably hours.  We played other games too (like Harry Potter Clue, the original Clue, and some game that was really fun but have never heard before and I can't remember the name), but Quelf was definitely the hilight of the night.  I think it's everyone's favorite board game now.  If you like randomness and doing stupid things, than you'll love Quelf.  If you don't, than you'll probably hate it.  You definitely can't be afraid of looking like an idiot.  During one of the games, I had to wear a piece of paper stuck to my forehead the whole game and have one of my socks inside out.  It's the most hilarious game ever.

Days Until:
Deathly Hallows Part 1 DVD: 30
The Twilight Saga: The Complete Illustrated Guide released: 31
LeakyCon 2011: 123
Deathly Hallows Part 2 Movie: 125
My 18th Birthday: 145
Breaking Dawn Part 1 Movie: 251
Breaking Dawn Part 2 Movie: 615

Books Read in 2011: 7
Harry Potter Reread: GoF 22


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Booking Through Thrusday - Multi-Tasking

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme.  This week's question is:
Do you multi-task when you read? Do other things like stirring things on the stove, brushing your teeth, watching television, knitting, walking, et cetera?

Or is it just me, and you sit and do nothing but focus on what you’re reading?

(Or, if you do both, why, when, and which do you prefer?)
Usually, I'll just sit and read.  Occasionaly, I'll need to do something, and I'm too into a book to put it down.  Then, I'll attempt to multi-task, but it usually doesn't work to well.  Most of the time I just try to focus on what I'm reading.  That's the only way that I'm really able to remember what's going on.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - March 8th, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.  Here's how it works:

•Grab your current read

•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
"Eighty years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt told a nervous nation, 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,' but it turns out that this isn't quite right.  Our problem is almost never 'fear itself' but the way we relate to that fear - by avoiding, withdrawing, seeking control, worrying, or falling victim to the mistaken belief that things will only be okay after we've annihilated all anxiety." - pg. 15 of Nerve by Taylor Clark

(I hope the formatting and everything turns out okay in this post.  It's set to publish at a certain time since I'll be at work when you're reading this, but I wanted it up sooner.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Musing Mondays - March 7th, 2011

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.  This week's question is:

What book(s) are you most excited about right now? (it can either be something you’re currently reading, or something you just bought, or a book/books that are soon to be published).

I have The Sacred Oath by D.C. Grace sitting on my bedside table waiting to be read. I've been really excited to read it ever since I first heard about it through the Internet. It contains werewolves (one of my favorite things/creatures to read about)! I hope to get to it soon.

(Also, Blogger is still being annoying and screwing up all of my posts.  If anyone has any idea why it keeps deleting parts of posts or messing with the format, please let me know.  I'd really appreciate it.  It's taking me forever to get this post right.  I may just give up again

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I Love Avatar: The Last Airbender

Today's challenge is supposed to be to talk about one of your favorite shows.  I think it will come as no surprise to people who have been following this blog a while that Avatar: The Last Airbender is my absolute favorite show.  Kataang is one of my favorite fictional couples of all time, and I can't wait for the Legend of Korra.

I think I'm going to start asking questions in posts to see if people comment.  I know I'm more likely to comment if someone asks a specific question.  My first questions:  What's your favorite TV show?  Have you ever watched Avatar: The Last Airbender?  If so, do you like it or not?  If you're a fan, what's your favorite ship, or do you not ship at all?

Work was oddly slow today.  I don't know if it was because it's Sunday, but way less people came in today than they have lately.  I have to work the next two days too, so I hope it stays slow.

Days Until:
Deathly Hallows Part 1 DVD: 36
The Twilight Saga: The Complete Illustrated Guide released: 37
LeakyCon 2011: 129
Deathly Hallows Part 2 Movie: 131
My 18th Birthday: 151
Breaking Dawn Part 1 Movie: 257
Breaking Dawn Part 2 Movie: 621

Books Read in 2011: 7
Harry Potter Reread: GoF 16 (I caught up again today.)


In My Mailbox - March 6th, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren to show what books you got during the week.

I've tried this about four times already, and Blogger keeps screwing up the post.  I got seven books this week, and I had a long post with summaries and everyting.  Blogger kept moving text around and deleting huge chunks of the post.  I don't have anymore time to mess with it, so I'm just going to quickly list the books.
Love Finds You in Paradise Pennsylvania by Loree Lough (Given to me by my aunt.)
Nerve by Taylor Clark (I recieved an ARC from the publisher.)
My dad picked the rest of the books up at the Border's closing sale:
Ouran High School Host Club Volumes 5, 6, and 9 by Bisco Hatori  (I actually already have volume 5.  I may do a giveaway.  Would anyone be interested?)
The Darwin Awards Next Evolution by Wendy Northcutt
Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Duke by Sarah Maclean

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Baking Cookies

Today's challenge is to tell how important you think education is.  I think education is very important.  I don't think you can get very far in the world if you don't try learning.  I don't necessarily mean everyone should go to college, but you should be learning some way or other.  I've always enjoyed learning new things (even if I don't necessarily enjoy the homework or waking up early involved with school).  I think that's one of the reasons I enjoy reading.  Even fictional books teach you things.

Can you believe that today was one of the first days in over a month I could have slept in, and I woke up at 9:30?  I think my body's getting too used to waking up early.  I can't even sleep in anymore.  I guess that could be a good thing except I'm so exhausted.  I don't even know when the next time I'll be able to sleep in will be.

I had to go work at a pork chop dinner at my church tonight.  We're raising money for our mission trip this summer.  It wasn't exactly the funnest way to spend a Saturday evening, but it wasn't too bad.  Plus, I got supper which I probably would have had to fix for myself at home.  (My mom has pneumonia (again), so she shouldn't really be around food other people are going to eat, and my dad's at "deacon school" this weekend.)

I spent two hours baking cookies for this pork chop dinner this afternoon.  My sister was supposed to help me, but she just left after we put the first batch in the oven.  (I made her wash dishes and clean up though.)  That was actually the first time I've made cookies, so I'm kind of proud of myself.  Granted, it was with cookie dough that was already separated into little balls, so it's not like I did much.

Days Until:
Deathly Hallows Part 1 DVD: 37
The Twilight Saga: The Complete Illustrated Guide released: 38
LeakyCon 2011: 130
Deathly Hallows Part 2 Movie: 132
My 18th Birthday: 152
Breaking Dawn Part 1 Movie: 258
Breaking Dawn Part 2 Movie: 622

Books Read in 2011: 6
Harry Potter Reread: GoF 14 (I think I'm one chapter behind.)


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Cheating

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme where you answer a question about books and reading.  This week's question is:

Do you cheat and peek at the ends of books? (Come on, be honest.)
My answer is:  sometimes.  It really depends.  If it's a book I absolutely love (such as Harry Potter or the Hunger Games), I'm really tempted too, but I'm usually able to resist.  If it's a romance book or something kind of predictable, I usually do because I usually have an at least faint idea of what's going to happen.  (By the way, I'm not saying these books are bad, there are just certain types of books that usually end a certain way.)  Most of the time though, I'm able to keep myself from looking even if I really want to, but sometimes I fail at restraining myself and ruin the ending.

Book Review: Extras by Scott Westerfeld

Extras (Uglies)ISBN: 1416951172
Release date:  October 2, 2007
Read from February 3 to 13, 2011
Awards: ALA Teens' Top Ten (2008)
Synopsis from Goodreads:

The world has become a different place since Tally Youngblood upset the Uglies, Pretties, Specials applecart. What it's like? Well, visualize an all-day, everyday version of American Idol, where everybody's a contestant and there are cameras everywhere. In this constant competition, teenager Aya Fuse ranks as a nobody; 451,369 to be exact. Of course, such obscurity has its small rewards, all of which have now become endangered by her friendship with the Sly Girls. Another futuristic thriller by Uglies trilogy author Scott Westerfeld.

My review:

I guess you could call this a companion book to the Uglies trilogy.  It introduces a new main character although several characters from the first three books do make appearances, including Tally.

I really enjoyed this book.  While the trilogy was good on its own, I think this book was an excellent edition to the series.  If you've read the other books, I'd definitely recommend reading this one as well.  If you haven't read the other books, then you should go read Uglies.  While this book has a different main character, it does take place after the other three books, and it's important to know what happened in those books before reading this one.

I really enjoyed the whole series, and I'm glad I read them.  They're probably my favorite series that takes place in the future after the Hunger Games.  I'm reading Bogus to Bubbly (which is a guide to the world) now, and Scott Westerfeld really created an interesting world.  I definitely recommend this series to anyone.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - March 1st/2nd, 2011

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.  (Again, sorry it's a day late.)

You pick up the book you're currently reading, open to a random page, and post two random sentences.  (No spoilers!)

I'm currently reading Bogus to Bubbly: A Complete Insider's Guide to the World of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.  It's a guide to the world Westerfeld created in the Uglies books.

"That's right.  In many beautiful people, phi can be found in the ratio between the width and the height of the head." - pg. 84

Top Ten Books I Just HAD To Buy...But Are Still Sitting On My Bookshelf

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Brookish.  (I know I'm a day late.  I had to work yesterday and didn't have time to write this.)

I have a huge stack of books just waiting to be read, so I'll just name ten of those.

1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments)

2. The Sacred Oath by D.C. Grace

The Sacred Oath

3. Abe Lincoln Grows Up by Carl Sandburg

Abe Lincoln Grows Up
(This is not the copy I have.)

4. Viva Vermont! by Melody Carlson

Viva Vermont!

5. Survival of the Fiercest by Anna Carey

Survival of the Fiercest: A Sloane Sisters Novel
(This is actually a sequel, and I haven't even read the first one.  I bought it without realizing it.)

6. Now You See Her by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Now You See Her

7. Darwin Undercover by Anna Dale

8. Believing in Narnia by Natalie Gillespie

Believing in Narnia: A Kid's Guide to Unlocking the Secret Symbols of Faith in C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia

9. Guys are Waffles, Girls are Spaghetti by Chad Eastham and Bill and Pam Farrel

Guys Are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti

10. I Heart Bloomberg by Melody Carlson

I Heart Bloomberg (86 Bloomberg Place Series #1)