4.30.2014

WWW Wednesday #19

http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/www-wednesdays-nov-6/

It's time for this week's WWW Wednesdays, hosted by Should Be Reading blog (head over and check them out!).

This link up asks three questions
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll be reading next? 
Here are my WWW answers!

What did I recently finish reading
 


It was Readathon last Saturday, and I spent a grand total of about 11 hours reading. Which means I managed to zoom through a bunch of books! The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was hands down my favourite of the bunch, followed by The Outsiders. But Fikry really stole my heart - it might even be my favourite book of 2014 so far!


What am I currently reading? 



I haven't actually started this yet, but it's sitting on my desk next to me here, just waiting. I think it's written in split perspective with two different authors writing two different characters - kind of like Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Which I absolutely loved - both for the content and concept. I feel like this will be a cross between that and Fangirl, which makes me very excited.





What do I think I'll be reading next? 




My Goodreads book club, The AWESOME Book Club Adventure, has this as one of its reads for May, so that has pushed it back up the list. Not sure if it'll take (I've had a couple of false starts with this one), but I've gotta give it a try!






Now it's your turn! Share your recent reads in the comments - and don't forget to link up with the original post (and share a link in the comments) if you wrote your own WWW Wednesday!

4.29.2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books If You Like X TV Show/Movie


This week's Top Ten Tuesday on The Broke and the Bookish is "Top Ten Books If You Like X TV Show/Movie/Comic/Play etc." I get to pick what "X" represents. Because I'm pathologically bad at decisions and because I want EVERYTHING all at once, I'm going to do a few different things with this post. Here we go!

1. If you like the movie Amélie...

http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f18/biggest-peeves-at-university-w-gifs-247025/index25.html

This is one of my favourite movies of all time. I loved Amélie's sense of the whimsical, her ability to take a normal life and make it into a colourful adventure. And while no books quite manage to equal Amélie's wide-eyed, rosy tinted view of the world, there are some that come close: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, The Rosie Project, and The Silver Linings Playbook. I've also heard that The Elegance of the Hedgehog is recommended for Amélie fans, but I haven't read it yet!

2. The Walking Dead

http://uproxx.com/tv/2012/11/10-things-we-learned-from-last-nights-nail-chewing-episode-of-the-walking-dead/

What I love most about The Walking Dead is that the characters are survivors. They've been through some shit, but they've learned to hold their own and keep on going. The Razorland Trilogy has the obvious similarity of involving zombie-like creatures. But that's not why I associated it with this show. It's because of the badassness of the characters and their ability to find purpose and will to survive even in grim circumstances. I'd also recommend these books to fans of the movie 12 Monkeys - but that's mostly because I picture the setting to be similar.

3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

http://giphy.com/gifs/bzQ9MyHlSqa0E

Okay, so I know this was originally a book, so it's kind of cheating, but still. Grasshopper Jungle. It had to be done.

4. Titanic

http://languagelabunleashed.org/2014/03/enter-the-tugboats/

These Broken Stars. Let me just say up front that I'm not a Titanic fan. The bit in that GIF? Probably my favourite part. But if you do like it, you'll like this book.

5. Criminal Minds

http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/penelope-garcia/images/35689295/title/penelope-garcia-fanart

While the obvious choice for this is Mindhunter (John Douglas is credited with helping create the BAU, and I believe some episodes are based on his actual cases), I'm also including The Naturals. It's kind of a YA version of a similar idea, and CM kept popping into my head as I was reading.

6. The Lake House

http://www.worstpreviews.com/review.php?id=54

The Griffin and Sabine books by Nick Bantock. Except that the books are much, much better.

7. Felicity


Fangirl. There's a similar theme of being overwhelmed when faced with the world of college. There's also a fantastic roommate - the whole time I was reading I just kept thinking of Megan!

8. Big Fish

http://giphy.com/gifs/YnUmEJrDWPny0

The Night Circus. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but there's a similar sense of wonderment to it. Though less of the absurd.

9. Star Crossed

http://www.nerdlikeyou.com/good-bad-geeky-tv-shows-cant-wait/

Obsidian, Alienated, Roswell (show and book series). I haven't read Alienated yet, but when I started watching Star Crossed what I'd read in reviews popped into my head... and stuck there. 

Almost made it to ten....

4.27.2014

The Sunday Review: PRODIGY - Marie Lu


Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic's most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots - a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games? - Goodreads


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**WARNING: This review may contain Prodigy spoilers, and you definitely don't want to read it if you haven't read Legend yet!

Prodigy picks up right where Legend left off - Day and June have escaped and are on the run, Day's family are dead or imprisoned and we don't know where Tess is. Day's wound is growing worse, and the two have no money and few options with which to seek help. 

So begins another wild ride, full of action, adventure and shifting loyalties. 

The duo are drawn into a complex struggle for power that has accompanied the appointment of the new Elector - son of the incumbent. Unrest is growing amongst the poorer sectors of the Republic over their treatment at the hands of the previous Elector, and their anger has been transferred to Anden, his son. That Anden is a teenager does not help him earn the confidence of the people. 

http://bairdana.tumblr.com/

Day and June are drawn into a Patriot plot to assassinate him, so that the regime that has treated its populace so poorly can be overthrown and a union with the Colonies (represented as a sort of utopia to the dispossessed of the Republic) can come about. 

June is sent in to win the trust of Anden and work from the inside to set him up. Day is poised to become the people's champion, and his role in the assassination is to be televised in order to make a hero of him. 

http://uproxx.com/webculture/2013/08/these-thor-the-dark-world-gifs-go-well-with-anchorman-quotes/

But nothing is that simple. June is led to doubt whether Anden truly is as evil as his father, while Day begins to doubt June. 

There is a lot to this installment of the story. Day finally questions his own love and trust for June, and to admit to himself that her role in his family's deaths is something he cannot simply ignore. For her part, June has to realize that the class discrepancy between her and Day is likewise a chasm across which they can never quite reach. These glimpses of a more realistic view of their relationship worked to draw me further into the story, and resolved some of the issues I had with the first book. 

http://www.cjr.org/realtalk/relationship_advice_for_writer.php

There were definitely things I didn't love about this story. The introduction of not one - but two - love triangles ground on me a bit. Not my favourite trope with how over-used it is. And while the issues above were discussed, I felt that they were still downplayed and would have had a much bigger impact on June and Day than it seemed to in the book. The plot did move along at a good and even pace (none of that slow middle book in a trilogy problem), but I didn't feel as invested in the story as I would have liked. I still can't quite put my finger on why that is. Perhaps it's a combination of the relationships not quite working for me and not knowing who to root for. All I know is that while I definitely wanted to know what would happen, I didn't feel that pull to read in every waking moment (and to stay up well past my bedtime to finish a particular bit). 

If you've made it through Legend, it's worth continuing with Prodigy - since it definitely does answer as many questions as it poses. I'm continuing on with Champion, so we'll see if the third book manages to pull out all the stops!

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Book Title: Prodigy
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend Trilogy #2
Edition: Hardcover
Published By: Putnam Juvenile
Released: Jan. 29, 2013
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopia
Pages: 371
Date Read: April 8-20, 2014
Rating: 6/10

4.26.2014

Readathon April 26 - Book Selection and Updates



I've started my Readathon! I'll be updating this post throughout the day with my progress rather than creating a bunch of new posts because I want to minimize time away from reading.

Here's the stack of potential books I've picked out:


1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
2. Champion by Marie Lu
3. Light Boxes by Shane Jones
4. Breakfast at Tiffany's: A Short Novel and Three Stories by Truman Capote
5. Hector and the Search for Happiness by François Lelord
6. Nightlight: A Parody by The Harvard Lampoon - DNF
7. The Book Boy by Joanna Trollope
8. The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry
9. Smut by Alan Bennett
10. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
11. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
12. Up A Tree In the Park At Night with A Hedgehog by P. Robert Smith
13. Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan
14. Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling (Kennilworthy Whisp)
15. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by  J.K. Rowling (Notes by Professor Albus Dumbledore)
16. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling (Newt Scamander)
17. A Short Stay In Hell by Steven L. Peck

I don't plan to read all of these, but I like having a selection to hand of books that are appropriately short and that I've been looking forward to. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and Champion I`m nearly finished, so they're included even though they're longer.

Updates

Time started Readathon: 10:30AM

Update Time: 1:30 PM
Hours spent reading so far: 3
Pages read: 204
Books started: 1
Books finished: 1

*I didn't technically finish The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry during the Readathon, so I'm not counting it, but I was up late finishing it last night which is why (in addition to the alarm on my cell phone being set too low) I was so late starting the Readathon!

Update Time: 4:30 PM
Hours spent reading so far: 4.5
Pages read: 269
Books started: 3
Books finished: 1

Update Time: 6:45 PM
Hours spent reading so far: 6
Pages read: 316
Books started: 3
Books finished: 2

Update Time: 11:29 PM
Hours spent reading so far: 9.5ish
Pages read: 400
Books started: 3
Books finished: 3

Final Tally:

Hours spent reading: 11
Pages read: 450
Books finished: 3 and part of 2 others

Stacking the Shelves #17


Time to look at the books I added to my shelves this week with Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews! Not necessarily books I bought - also includes books I borrowed, was given or otherwise ended up with. Weeks where I don't buy books I'll scramble around my shelves and find some books I haven't shared in a StS post yet!  





  1.  Up A Tree in the Park at Night with a Hedgehog: Came across this and the cover got my attention. Didn't have any idea what to expect, but it looks promising!
  2. To All the Boys I've Loved Before: I went back and forth on this one. I was a bit concerned it might be too fluffy for my taste. But I read enough favourable reviews that I decided it was worth a try!
  3. What I Thought Was True: So many people talking about this one! It seemed like a great lead-in to summer book.
  4. The Library of Unrequited Love: This one was a bit of a wild card. I picked it up in a sale for practically nothing, mostly because I love books about books.
  5. This Side of Salvation: I like the concept behind this one - but, as you can probably guess... the cover.
  6. Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty: I have heard good things about Keaton's writing, plus I've always liked her. This one is about "beauty, aging, and the importance of staying true to yourself - no matter what anyone else thinks."
  7. Dear Nobody: I remember reading Go Ask Alice in high school, and while I don't remember that much about it, it was part of a set of books that I read at a particular phase. This is supposed to be like Alice, but real. So I've gotta give it a try.
  8. Forever...: I've never read any Judy Blume (at least, not that I remember). *Hangs head in shame.* So when I saw that some of her books are being re-released with super pretty covers, I decided it was time to fix that. I ordered Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret first (which, now that I think about it.... why hasn't it arrived yet? Hmmmph.) and this one caught my eye.
  9. Nightlight: This is a parody of Twilight. And while I read and enjoyed the Twilight saga, and I try not to be judgy about it... I just couldn't resist.
  10. Open Road Summer: I feel like everywhere I turn, I'm hearing about this book.
  11.  The Archived: I heard a nasty rumour that this was supposed to be a trilogy, but the third book was cancelled or something? (If any of you have info on this, please do share.) So I was trying to avoid it because I hate getting invested in things and then having them end abruptly (*Veronica Mars* ahem). But I keep reading reviews, and all of them are just so overwhelmingly good, that I ended up feeling like it was worth it.
  12.  Annihilation: My buddy Julianne over at Outlandish Lit read this recently, and I decided it sounded intriguing (she described it as being kind of like the first two seasons of Lost before it sucked).
So that's it for this week - what goodies did y'all pick up?

4.25.2014

It's Readathon Time!


It's time for the Spring 24 Hour Readathon! This will be my second Readathon - and I'm hopeful that I'll do slightly better than the first time around! My first Readathon (last fall) was a bit of a gong show. Not only was it my first, but I didn't find out about it until the day before it began, so I had very little time to prepare! I now know some important trick and tips for surviving (and succeeding at) 24 hours of reading.

Here are some tips (based on mistakes I made) so you'll be better prepared than I was:

1. Find a comfy spot - but don't stay there too long.

http://giphy.com/gifs/t2i83c4eN6VZS

I thought curling up in my comfy armchair would be a perfect reading strategy - but after 4 or 5 hours my back started aching like crazy, and once the pain started, I couldn't get rid of it. This time around I'll be cycling through different reading spots (comfy chair, kitchen table, desk, couch, even lying on the bed) every hour or so in an attempt to avoid the same problem! I might even toddle down the hill to my neighbourhood Starbucks and read there for awhile.

2. Snacks.
http://minus.com/lbcFgNwxlZvAsC

You will need them.

3. Decide ahead of time if you plan to post blog updates.

http://gif-central.blogspot.ca/2013/03/do-i-really-look-like-guy-with-plan.html

I never realized how long it takes to write a simple blog post until I was watching the clock for the Readathon. My advice is to either publish one post that you can go in and edit with updates on hours read and reading progress throughout the day, or to come up with an easy template you can copy and add in your reading progress to.

4. Get in on the Twitter action!

http://giphy.com/gifs/6XzBWFdPrfs40

I had so much fun interacting with Readathon folks on Twitter last time around! I ended up doing this rather than updating my blog. First, follow the official Readathon account @readathon. Then on the day tag your tweets with #Readathon (or even #CatLadiesofReadathon, which became a big thing for me last time, what with three cats constantly trying to interrupt my reading) and occasionally check in on the hashtag to see what's going on! (Also check on #Dewey.)

5. Pick books wisely.

http://giphy.com/gifs/ZK2xsP5iMvOb6

You've probably got a bunch of big, long, intimidating books sitting on your shelves but rarely have time to sit down and really wade into them. So you might think, "hmmm, 24 hours of reading? That should be enough time to make a dent in War and Peace." ROOKIE MISTAKE. First of all, you're getting up (if you're in my part of the world) at a ridiculously early hour to read. Reading has a tendency to make a person tired. Reading War and Peace? Even with 12 cups of coffee you're not keeping your eyes open reading that at 5AM, lemme tell ya.

You also want to feel like you're making progress. And while seeing a chunk of a huge book go by can be satisfying, it's even more satisfying to read a short book and finish the entire thing. Short books (even novellas) and ones that are easy to read are key.

And finally, make the books ones you're genuinely excited to read - and have a stack ready so that if one isn't grabbing you, you can put it down and move on to the next. This is the time to be fickle.

6. Get some exercise.

http://giphy.com/gifs/wiSTZUVGSrhC0

In addition to changing your reading spot and position periodically, it helps to get moving. If you're hard-core readathoning and want to take minimal breaks, do some jumping jacks, stretches, sit-ups and run in place (horizontally or upright) every once in awhile. If you're okay with only reading for some of the day, going for a walk or tidying up the house here and there just to get the blood flowing is a great idea. (Oh, and don't forget to rest your eyes every now and again!)

7. Music.



Sometimes you just need something to get you pumped. Get a playlist ready - or a few. One of upbeat songs for when you need to be revitalized, one of chill music for when you're feeling restless, or even one to match whatever you plan to read. Have some fun with it! Oh, and aside from the fact that this song is awesome for getting some energy going, I also picked this song because it's linked to the world's first 24 hour music video. So it fits the theme. (If the website doesn't load for you, you can find the 24 hours of videos on YouTube hour by hour here.)

8. Minimize distractions.

http://giphy.com/gifs/lol-homework-smartphone-QHWSnMSwQEut2

Send the kids to a friend's house. Turn off the TV. Select music carefully. Turn off alerts on your phone. Whatever it takes to keep you focused!

9. Consider audiobooks.

http://giphy.com/gifs/UrqMQKu2NQA7e

No matter how much of a reader you are, 24 hours is TOUGH. Download a couple of audiobooks, and when you're feeling really sluggish, switch to listening and do something active. This is also a great tip for those who intend to read for the full 24 - this way you can keep "reading" while making food, walking the dog or whatever else you simply can't get out of doing.

Bonus Tip: This one's from the hubs, who says (and I paraphrase), "Here's a tip. Cheat. Just say you read a bunch of books, then you can hang out with me instead." So there's always that option.

http://uproxx.com/sports/2013/09/lindsey-vonn-totally-didnt-cheat-tiger-woods/

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If you're new to the Readathon, you can visit Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon website to find out more here. If you're not signed up yet, you can do so here. If this is the first you've heard about this brilliant event and you want to observe for a spell, or if you have plans this weekend that will prevent you from participating for the whole thing (though I strongly recommend that you invent an illness and do this instead of whatever else you were supposed to be doing), you can sign up to cheerlead participants here.

If you're scared of the whole 24 Hour thing, remember you can read for as much or as little of the day as you want to! You can even informally participate (last time I just read for a chunk of the day and got in on the Twitter activity).

Good luck!
http://giphy.com/gifs/nwyqBwP65XCAU

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